Texas Chocolate Cake & Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

Last week was the second office birthday of 2012.  When the request came in for “Texas Chocolate Cake,” I paused for a moment and scratched my head.  Texas chocolate cake?  What is that?  The only cake I know about involving the name Texas is a sheet cake.  Turns out, that is indeed what a Texas chocolate cake is.  A little internet research later, and I was ready to make my first sheet cake.

I baked this cake in a 13” x 18” jelly roll pan, and it worked out really well.  The cake was dense and fudgy, almost reaching the consistency of a brownie.  (When everyone saw it, at first, they all thought it was in fact a very large pan of brownies.)

The cake is frosted while still hot, and then the cake and frosting set together, on the cooling rack, and then in the fridge.  Sadly, the pictures I took at the office didn’t turn out so well, so I only have the shot of the whole cake.

Even though this cake could feed 20 some odd mouths, I still felt the need to add a complimentary item.  I decided on giant double chocolate cookies, thinking that coupling a Texas chocolate cake with larger than average cookies was a perfect duo.

Both were quite tasty, and the office seemed to enjoy them very much.  And so can you!

Texas Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Sweet Tooth

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs plus 2 yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup sour cream

8 ounces semisweet chocolate , chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Chocolate Icing:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans , chopped (I opted for Trader Joe’s cocoa pearls)
For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 18- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk eggs and yolks, vanilla, and sour cream in another bowl until smooth.

Heat chocolate, butter, oil, water, and cocoa in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk chocolate mixture into flour mixture until incorporated. Whisk egg mixture into batter, then pour into prepared baking pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack.

For the icing: About 5 minutes before cake is done, heat butter, cream, cocoa, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Off heat, whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spread warm icing evenly over hot cake and sprinkle with pecans (or topping of you choice). Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until icing is set, about 1 hour longer. (Cake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Cut into 3-inch squares. Serve.

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Makes 12 very large cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (one 12oz package)

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer (or just a large bowl if you’re a do-it-with-your-hands person like me), combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed (or with wooden spoon) until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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