Enjoy some over-the-top indulgences this Valentine’s Day

There’s no such thing as too much chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Sweethearts across the country exchange chocolate every February 14, making this beloved confection as emblematic of Valentine’s Day as turkey is of Thanksgiving and hot dogs and hamburgers are for July 4.
While a single helping of chocolate might suffice for some couples, those who really enjoy indulging in chocolate may find a single helping simply won’t suffice. For such folks, the following recipe for “Triple-Chocolate Cookies” from Michael Recchiuti and Fran Gage’s “Chocolate Obsession” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) can make the perfect addition to any Valentine’s Day celebration.

Triple-Chocolate Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies
7 ounces unbleached
all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 ounces unsweetened
natural cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces unsalted but
ter with 82 percent
butterfat, at room
3 1⁄2 ounces granulated
cane sugar
4 1⁄2 ounces dark brown
cane sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1⁄2 Tahitian vanilla bean,
split horizontally
1⁄2 teaspoon fleur de sel
in fine grains
3 ounces 41 percent
milk chocolate,
roughly chopped
3 ounces 65 percent
chocolate, roughly

To make the dough:
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside.
Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until creamy. Add both sugars and the vanilla extract. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the top. Beat on medium speed just until combined.
Reduce the speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, pulsing the mixer to incorporate each batch before adding the next one. Pulse just until a crumbly dough forms. Add both chopped chocolates and mix on low speed just until incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead a few times to incorporate any crumbs.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log about 11⁄4 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. As you roll, gently push the ends toward the center occasionally to prevent air pockets from forming and to keep the logs at an even thickness.
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least three hours or up to three days.

To bake the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line the bottoms of two 12-by-18 inch sheet pans with parchment paper.
Remove the logs from the refrigerator and unwrap them. Using a ruler to guide you and a sharp knife, cut each log into rounds 1⁄2-inch thick. If the dough crumbles as you cut it, reshape each slice. Place the rounds on the prepared pans, spacing them 11⁄2 inches apart.
Bake on the middle shelves of the oven, rotating the pans 180 degrees halfway through the baking time, until set but soft enough to hold a slight indentation when pressed with a fingertip, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on the pans on wire racks.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Author: Stephan Drew

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