When chocolate chip cookies get all dressed up for a date out on the town, this is how they turn out. Prunes might sound a stodgy companion for glamourous chocolate, but they have a slow, meaty flavor, magnified by a steep in brandy that makes them a dignified pairing with the sharp and intense bittersweet chocolate.
This isn't a bake sale cookie, or a three-at-a-sitting treat. It's a dressed up version of a classic, nearly underbaked so it's still chewy, with sticky mouthfuls of gooey, boozy prune and dense chocolate. Do not attempt these without a tall glass of cold milk!
Brandied Prune and Chocolate Chunk Cookies about 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups prunes, chopped 1/2 cup brandy 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 tablespoon brandy 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 3/4 cups flour 2 tablespoons wheat germ (optional) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (fresh ground if possible) 1 teaspoon salt 8 ounces good dark chocolate, chopped - about 2 cups
Put the chopped prunes in a small glass bowl with the brandy and microwave for about a minute. Put in the fridge while mixing the rest of the dough. (You can also heat them on the stove in a small saucepan until boiling.)
Cream the butter and sugar until the butter has completely dissolved. Add the egg, vanilla and brandy and beat until light and fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter and sugar, mixing on low speed until completely incorporated. Add the prunes and chocolate and stir. It will be very chunky with just enough dough to hold it all together.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour. Heat oven 350ºF. Flatten spoonfuls of dough on parchment-lined sheets and bake until barely golden - about 10-12 minutes.