Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chocolate Nut Cluster

2/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 pound nuts

Soften butter, add sugar, and mix until blended. Stir in melted unsweetened chocolate. (I find that the easiest way is to unwrap the desired number of few squares, arrange them evenly on a small plate, and microwave on the lowest setting until the chocolate turns shiny and is just starting to lose its shape, somewhere around five minutes for the amount called for here, depending on the power of your microwave. That way it gets soft, but doesn't burn and isn't so hot that it'll start coagulating the batter if you add it to something that already has eggs in it. You can start it a little ahead of time because once softened like this, it'll stay soft for quite a while.)

Add eggs and vanilla, blend well, mix in flour. The batter should be quite thick at this point; fold in the nuts (walnuts, pecans, or whatever suits your fancy). Form into largish (just over an inch in diameter) globs and bake at 350 for about twelve minutes, until the surface is no longer shiny. Cool until cookies are crispy before removing from cookie sheet. These don't expand very much while baking, so they may be placed relatively close together on the baking sheet.

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