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Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a small heavy saucepan melt unsweetened chocolate, butter, and 1 cup of the semisweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the electric mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour mixture, the remaining semisweet chocolate pieces, and, if desired, pecans.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake about 8 minutes or just until edges are firm (centers will appear soft). Cool on cookie sheets on wire racks.