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Recipe: Chunks of chocolate and crunchy walnuts are divine in Dorie Greenspan’s new cookies

Caramel Crunch–Chocolate Chunklet CookiesMark Weinberg

Makes 2 dozen

There is no caramel in the ingredient list, writes Dorie Greenspan in "Baking with Dorie," "yet it's the flavor you catch with the first bite. The alchemy happens in the oven. Because these slice-and-bake cookies are baked in muffin tins until their bottoms and sides are deeply golden, the butter and sugar brown so completely that they produce the full, nutty, edgily sweet flavor of caramel." They're essentially a shortbread dough with chunks of chocolate and walnuts stirred in. You need to allow at least two hours, or up to three days, for the dough to firm enough to slice. "They could rightly be called chocolate chip cookies," she says, "though perhaps ones that lived briefly in France."

1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
½cup granulated sugar
½cup confectioners' sugar
½teaspoon fine sea salt
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2cups flour
3ounces dark or milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks
½cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or more chocolate chunks)
Butter (for the muffin tins)

1. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or the whisk, beat the butter, granulated and confectioners' sugar, and salt on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until they are creamy. Beat in the vanilla.

2. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and pulse the mixer a few times, just until the risk of flying flour has passed. Then, working on low speed, beat for a couple of minutes, or until the flour is almost completely incorporated. Don't beat too much. You want the mixture to be more clumpy than smooth.

3. Still working on low speed, mix in the chocolate and nuts. They will not be thoroughly blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and finish incorporating the chunky ingredients with a flexible rubber spatula.

4. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead it to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 6-inch-long log (the rolls will be a scant 2 inches in diameter). Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days.

5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter 2 regular-size muffin tins.

6. One at a time, mark each log at 1/2-inch intervals and working with a chef's knife, cut them into rounds. Place each puck in a muffin cup. You should have all the indentations filled.

7. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans from back to front halfway through baking, or until the cookies are golden on top, browned around the edges, and slightly soft in the center; they'll firm as they cool.

8. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let them rest for 3 minutes. Gently pry each cookie out of the cup with the tip of a table knife. Place them on the wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "Baking with Dorie"

Makes 2 dozen

There is no caramel in the ingredient list, writes Dorie Greenspan in "Baking with Dorie," "yet it's the flavor you catch with the first bite. The alchemy happens in the oven. Because these slice-and-bake cookies are baked in muffin tins until their bottoms and sides are deeply golden, the butter and sugar brown so completely that they produce the full, nutty, edgily sweet flavor of caramel." They're essentially a shortbread dough with chunks of chocolate and walnuts stirred in. You need to allow at least two hours, or up to three days, for the dough to firm enough to slice. "They could rightly be called chocolate chip cookies," she says, "though perhaps ones that lived briefly in France."

1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
½cup granulated sugar
½cup confectioners' sugar
½teaspoon fine sea salt
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2cups flour
3ounces dark or milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks
½cup coarsely chopped walnuts (or more chocolate chunks)
Butter (for the muffin tins)

1. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or the whisk, beat the butter, granulated and confectioners' sugar, and salt on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until they are creamy. Beat in the vanilla.

2. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and pulse the mixer a few times, just until the risk of flying flour has passed. Then, working on low speed, beat for a couple of minutes, or until the flour is almost completely incorporated. Don't beat too much. You want the mixture to be more clumpy than smooth.

3. Still working on low speed, mix in the chocolate and nuts. They will not be thoroughly blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and finish incorporating the chunky ingredients with a flexible rubber spatula.

4. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead it to bring it together. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 6-inch-long log (the rolls will be a scant 2 inches in diameter). Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days.

5. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter 2 regular-size muffin tins.

6. One at a time, mark each log at 1/2-inch intervals and working with a chef's knife, cut them into rounds. Place each puck in a muffin cup. You should have all the indentations filled.

7. Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans from back to front halfway through baking, or until the cookies are golden on top, browned around the edges, and slightly soft in the center; they'll firm as they cool.

8. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let them rest for 3 minutes. Gently pry each cookie out of the cup with the tip of a table knife. Place them on the wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "Baking with Dorie"


Sheryl Julian can be reached at sheryl.julian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.