Thursday, April 30, 2009

Scharffen Berger.

I love chocolate.

I'm sorry.....have I said that already??

This chocolate "incident" occurred when my sister Kathy and I went on a shopping trip into the North End of Boston or "Little Italy". It is a day that we usually plan out only a couple of weeks in advance, but it is a trip that is immensely anticipated. We talk, we laugh, we shop.
On our last visit there, we spent several hours visiting our favorite shops to buy anise oil, balsamic vinegar (the real stuff), wine, cheeses, pastas, etc. After leisurely enjoying a cappuchino at Caffe Sporto on Hanover Street, we loaded up the car and headed into the South End of Boston (not to be confused with "Southie") . My sister had heard about a new bakery-style restaurant and since they had cupcakes on the menu, she thought we should spy on them investigate.
The name of the establishment is Flour...such a great name for a bakery, right? Well, it gets better. Since parking spaces in the South End are as scarce as hens teeth, Kathy waited in the car while I sprinted inside to grab a few items for lunch. I ordered a couple of sandwiches and a couple of vegan cupcakes (they were sold out of the regular ones) That's it. No. Wait. Good lord, what are those big, fat chocolate cookies next to the muffins??? No, the other way.....they're smiling at between those fabulous looking, gigantic sticky buns (sweet Moses) and that mouth-watering lemon cake (sweet Maria).....yes, those. What's that?? Scharffen Berger Double Chocolate Cookies?? Never heard of him. Okay, I'll take, two. Um...just make it three.

I returned to the car and Kathy and I started on the 30 minute ride home. At a lull in the conversation, I casually mentioned that I had purchased a couple of Double Chocolate Cookies along with the sandwiches. Scharffen Berger Double Chocolate Cookies. The car swerved violently. Struggling to compose herself and appear nonchalant, she quietly cleared her throat and said "Have you ever tasted Scharffen Berger chocolate?" I gave her a sidelong glance as I gingerly reached into the bag to retrieve a morsel. I broke off a small piece and put it into my mouth. I remember instantly seeing a brilliant light and hearing a choir of angels singing" Oh sweet mystery of life at last I've found you".........Thankfully I was already seated, because I surely would have fallen to my knees. If I had been the one driving the car, this posting would have ended up being an obituary. I can see the headline now...."Sisters plummet for Scharffen Berger". Okay, I'm joking but yes..... it was that good. It was truly the richest and most decadent chocolate cookie that I had ever tasted. IN MY LIFE.

Now I'm ruined for chocolate because once you've tasted Scharffen Berger Chocolate, you can never go back. Ever. Don't get me wrong about Nestles and Hersheys. I will always love both of those bad boys, but there's a new kid in town, "he" is the baddest kid around and "his" name is NOT Leroy's Scharffen Berger. (sorry....couldn't resist that one) Decadence doesn't come cheap, but just one taste and you'll know the reason why.

Here's the "evil and deviant" recipe. The actual Scharffen Berger recipe is decadent, but I love the Martha Stewart version as well. So this recipe is a combination of both. This is the one that ruined me. Be careful when you make these.......because they're gonna ruin you too.
Consider yourself warned.

8 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature (one stick)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Roughly chop the chocolate.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt about 6 ounces of the chocolate and the stick of butter in the top of a double boiler or in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water. Be sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

When the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let cool a bit.

Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.

Using a standard mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the chocolate mixture, on medium speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Scrape the sides the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla, and then add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer and fold in the remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate by hand. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. I usually use a medium-sized scooper and put 12 scoops to one cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies until they are just barely firm on top when lightly touched but are still very soft underneath, about 12 minutes. They will get firmer as they cool.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. I get about 2 1/2 dozen cookies from this recipe. They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Yeah, right.

That last sentence is an absolute joke. "Several days?" You will be very lucky if these cookies last several hours.

So, if these fabulous cookies will only survive a few hours.....I wonder how they would hold up to shipping?

I wonder if I packed them tightly in parchment paper them sealed them in an airtight container..... would they hold up?

Or better still WHERE would they end up??

I guess we'll never know......

or will we??


Kara said...

Oh my those sound sooo yummy! My Hubby was just laughing at me for drooling over your blog lol.

Susan said...

You sent the cookies to me, right?

Aunt Grace said...

Remember your Mother and Bensdorf cocoa????? You are a "chip" I used to use Bensdorf in my famous Carolina Cake. Cannot find the reciepe, probably would not be as good any way. Boy do thoes look good, how do you do this stuff??

Aunt Grace said...

On second thought, you mailed them??? That means they had to travel right?? Ah, you would have flown down with them. You know me, I would never ever tell a soul I got them...hide them in a closet I would.

Anonymous said...

OH PICK ME!! PICK ME!!! Oh for the Love of ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD - PICK ME! If I've EVER meant anything to YOU! PICK ME!

YOU'VE ALWAY been MY favorite!! But let's keep that between us. Don't tell Jen or Regina or Peggy or Sue or Jackie OR even YOUR SISTER for that matter. K?

The most important thing to remember is that Ive clicked on your Iron Cup Cake thing - MORE THAN ONCE!! AND... MY BOYS ARE IN LOVE WITH YOU! In fact; I am changing thier NAMES to ANN and MARIE! After YOU! Yep. ;-)

Plus I really need carbs to keep me going. I'm 'training' to run/walk/crawl in a Marathon... (okay so is Jen & Charlie but they're against anything chocolate coming into their house - EVER! Last I heard, anyway)

AND I'M BEST FRIENDS With O-P-R-A-H. Yep. Maybe even I'm just say'n.

Also, in case your wondering - I know other people. In the chocolate mafia...I'm just put'n it out there...for reference.

House number you asked? 812. Same street as your Aunt Grace whom I PROMISE to share... K? SO PICK ME!

Here's a Great BIG VIRTUAL HUG!! and a smile...see? ;-)
LOVE, Marg.

SimplySweeter said...

Marg, I know nothing.



One of many cuzzins! said...


Anne, I love your blog, but always have trouble posting my comments. Hopefully it will work for me today. I'll be in touch soon about the cake.

Did I say,

~Regina :)

aunt grace said...


Lisa said...

I'm checking closets!!

How did I miss that you posted these? OH! My Gosh! They look good!! drull....drip..slurp

One of many cuzzins! said...

Nothings arrived yet. What's taking so long? I'm all set. 2 gallons of milk in the fridge. I'M WAITING....

AUNT GRACE said...

Guess What??? I got them!!! Ha Ha They are so decident, every morsel is so filled with this wonderful flavor of rich choclate, fresh, savory, just wonderful, I just hate to share them, Uncle Bill said, maybe they won't know when they come in, but my family know's and rip's the house apart. What a wonderful family I have, and AnnMarie is at the top. Sorry Regina, learn to cook, CHOCLATE...

Aunt Grace said...

This house is loaded with people I don't even know. They say they read your blog and just wanted a taste. Marg had a bridal shower last night for a friend, and guess what, she did not find them. Tomorrow (look out) Bill will get the word, by then we will be in NC with the cookies. They are by far the best I have ever had, keep em coming. And THANK YOU

Lisa said...

Oh!!!!!! MY!!!!!!!!!! GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!

They simply melt in your mouth.............We can never go back!!

The Amazing Trips said...

You sent them to Auntie?!

I sure hope she's saved a few to bring with her to California when she comes out later this month....

I probably shouldn't hold my breath, huh?

Tink412 said...

Hi, I'm SO sorry...I'm so sorry I didn't find you until today! I was stalking the Pioneer Woman's comments,my new thing to do since i actually found out what a blog was & found yours! How beautiful everything looks,I can almost taste & smell them! Is there a way to get your feed,so I can put you on my Yahoo homepage?As I said,I'm VERY new to all this & learning about new "patrs' everyday.I just found out that I can put my favorite blogs on my homepage & I sure would love to have yours? And how can I print your recipes? Or CAN I print your recipes.I have very bad hands & writing would not only take me forever it would have me not typing the rest of the cn you imagine someone like me that rambles like this not typing?! I hope to hear from you & in the meantime, I'll save you in my favorites.....because you are!! Linda Mendez in FL>

SimplySweeter said...

To Linda M. in Florida:
Thanks so much Linda, I'm glad you like the blog. I think all you have to do to add my Blog to your page is to go to the Dashboard and click on Add, then type in my address. Good Luck!!!