Lately I’ve been slightly consumed with the cooking contests at Food52.com-a website created by 2 journalists at the New York Times- Every week there is a new food challenge based on an ingredient or theme, whoever’s recipe wins goes into the final cookbook.
I send in some recipes for previous challenges (like the duck with fig & port sauce or the apple and amaretti cake) but to no avail…Food52.com is not looking for healthy easy dishes they are looking for decadent & complex ones. So 2 days before the deadline of the chocolate cookie contest I took the big guns out and called the most decadent foodie I know: my dad- and he sent me this incredible recipe. I must warn you though these are not healthy (actually I am writing this on a sugar rush from them) but they are delicious. They are based on Maida Heatter’s famous chocolate cookies. Enjoy the food coma. —Culinista Annouchka
Combine the raisins & rum in a cup and let stand overnight to macerate (or a minimum of 8 hours)
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray & flour (rice flour or buckwheat for gluten free) 2 large baking sheets, shaking off excess flour.
Mix the sifted sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour & salt with an electric mixer on low. Add the egg whites & vanilla and continue mixing on medium until the mixture is combined.
Drain the raisins (without pressing) and add them to the dough with the pecans & almonds. Stir until the mixture is thick and sticky, about 3 minutes.
Drop large tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing each cookie a few inches apart. Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven, rotating halfway through baking (you may have to bake them 1 sheet at a time if your oven is small).
The cookies are done when small cracks appears or when they are just set on the edges and slightly moist in the middle (12 to 14 minutes total).
Cool cookies on rack for a few minutes then transfer to a plate to cool completely.
* Place nuts flat on a baking sheet and place in the oven (heated at 350F) for 7 to 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool before chopping them.