Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
I know what you’re thinking, but no, I didn’t whip a motherboard and a handful of circuits into a bowl of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour and call the result a cookie. “Computer Chip” is actually a reference to a popular ice cream flavor at the Palo Alto ice cream parlor, Rick’s Ice Cream. Computer Chip ice cream is a rich chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and a hint of orange flavor, which gives it a nice sophisticated taste and adds a dose of freshness to the dark chocolate. I’ve been eating Computer Chip ice cream ever since I was a toddler—probably my parents’ attempt to turn me into a successful computer programmer—and it’s always been one of my favorite flavors at Rick’s.
After some thorough research (i.e. two Google searches), I was unable to find the history behind how the combination of chocolate and orange leads to a name like Computer Chip. I’d like to think that maybe Hewlett and Packard would break into a pint while working through the night in the HP Garage, but unfortunately I don’t think that would be historically accurate.
Strange name aside, these cookies are really delicious. They’re an adaptation of the Fudge Crackle Cookies with some orange zest, Grand Marnier, and chocolate chunks added into the dough so that the resulting cookie tastes like a Cadbury chocolate orange, but better. There’s chocolate flavor, citrusy brightness, and a generously-sized chewy and fudgy interior. To make a really incredible dessert, buy a pint of computer chip ice cream, and make an ice cream sandwich using these cookies.
Computer Chip Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies
Adapted from my recipe for Fudge Crackle Cookies
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
½ cup granulated sugar, for coating
Heat a small saucepan filled half-way with water over medium heat until water comes to a simmer. Place the butter and chocolate in a metal or glass bowl and rest it over the simmering water. Stir frequently until the butter and chocolate have melted, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the sugar and vanilla and whisk vigorously until smooth. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk well to combine, then add the orange zest and Grand Marnier and whisk until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate and egg mixture and gently fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Do not try to cut corners and chill the dough for less time, you will be disappointed with the end result.
When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 325F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and place the coating sugar in a shallow bowl. Taking 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll them into ball and then roll the dough balls in the sugar. Place them 1 ½ -2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cracks have formed, cookies have set, and there is a slight crust on the edges. Do not over bake. Let cookies rest on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.