Sea Urchin Chocolate Cookies

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David Lebovitz calls these Black & White Cookies. Now, I think he’s wrong. I’m pretty sure what’s pictured on Wikipedia is not what I made (and how could Wikipedia be anything but completely correct?). He also says that they could be called earthquake cookies or chocolate tremors (because apparently the cracks look like those caused by earthquakes). Again, I’m going to have to disagree.

What do these cookies really look like? Like a sea urchin. True, it may not be the most appetizing comparison ever (all I can think of is the original Iron Chef and their usage of sea urchin roe) but, hey, it’s what they look like.

It took me awhile to figure out what they really looked like to me. I started by thinking it looked like some kind of mineral but I couldn’t find an appropriate one (trust me, there are a lot of minerals out there). Then I thought maybe it looked like a sea sponge. And then I finally settled on sea urchin.

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I’m a bit restricted when I make desserts as I have a certain significant other who doesn’t like nuts (or so she claims). This means that I have to adapt the desserts to remove the nuts. For things like chocolate chip cookies, that means that I just leave them out. In this case, the original recipe called for them to be ground in a food processor which made it a bit more complicated. So I just added a little bit more flour and it seemed to work out.

According to the recipe (I doubled it), this should make 80 cookies. It made much closer to 50 (I believe it was exactly 52; I don’t count, I just lay them out in orderly rows). I’m not entirely sure how one would get 80 cookies out of this batter (I really don’t think the almonds made enough of a difference but who knows). I was confused enough by it that I actually measured the size of my pre-baked cookies to make sure that they were actually an inch in diameter. I think I may need more things to do with my time.

My final comment on the cookies is that the batter really really firms up when you refrigerate it. It was almost too firm to work with (the heat in my hands did help with that). I’d also recommend that you form the cookies in an assembly line fashion. Form all the cookies first, then coat them with each sugar. I’ve actually had to take training classes in Lean+ that tell you things such as that.

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Sea Urchin Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Room for Dessert

1 lb bittersweet chocolate
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp dark rum
4 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
powdered sugar for rolling cookies

  1. In a double broiler, melt the chocolate, butter, and rum.
  2. Combine the eggs and granulated sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk for 5 to 7 minutes or until they form a ribbon.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the flour and baking powder. Mix on low speed to combine.
  4. Refrigerate the batter until it is firm, at least 1 hour and up to several days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  6. Take 1 1/2 tbsp of batter and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Place the granulated sugar in one bowl and the powdered sugar in another. Roll each ball in the granulated sugar and then in the powdered sugar. Place them on a baking sheet spaced about 1″.
  8. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheet. Store in a airtight container.

Makes about 50 cookies.

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