Monday, January 27, 2014

Double Chocolate Cookies

My friends and I had a little dinner party recently. We all gathered in an apartment, sprawled on various chairs, couches, and the ever-lovely floor, and ate our potluck dinner off of paper plates. While it certainly wasn't the most cohesive dinner I've ever eaten, I laughed until my sides hurt and realized that college is probably the only time where such a random, eclectic dinner party is truly acceptable.

I was tasked with dessert. Let me tell you, I dithered for a solid thirty minutes about what to make. See, I bought a container of cocoa powder at Trader Joe's recently (read up on that adventure here), and I absolutely wanted to use it. I looked up various recipes ranging from ice cream to cakes to truffles and everything in between. However, at the end of it all, I decided on something fairly easy and non-messy: chocolate cookies studded with chocolate chunks.

It was really quite easy. I didn't really use a recipe, I just subbed out a bit of the flour for the cocoa powder. While the baking time was a little iffy due to their awesome thickness, I figured it out in the end! My roommate N said that these are the best things I've ever made. I think that phrase gets thrown around a lot with what I make (humble brag), but everyone who tried these absolutely loved them.

You will need:
 -1 stick of butter, softened
 -1/2 cup of granulated sugar
 -1/4 cup of brown sugar, packed
 -1 egg
 -1 tsp of vanilla extract
 -1 cup of flour
 -1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
 -1/4 tsp baking soda
 -pinch of salt
 -1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chips)

Oven temperature: 350˚F.

As with most cookies, start by creaming together your butter and your sugar with an electric mixer. You want all the sugar to be incorporated into the butter, for the mixture to have no lumps, and to be light and airy.

Then, add your egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until fully combined.

In a separate bowl (or Tupperware), combine your dry ingredients. That'll be your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a fork or your fingers or whatever, mix it all together until combined.

Then add about a third of the dry mixture to the butter and thoroughly combine. Continue until all of the dry mix has been added, and keep stirring/combining until the dough forms a bit of a ball and has an even texture, with no un-mixed lumps.

Now throw your chocolate chunks in there and mix to evenly distribute. Like with any cookie, you could add anything you like to these, including nuts, other types of chocolate, dried fruit... the list goes on and on!

This recipe only yielded ten cookies, since I love 'em huge and chewy. Each cookie was about two tablespoons' worth of dough, rolled by hand then pressed onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Then, place them in the fridge for about half an hour, up to overnight. You'll notice as you roll them out that they're very soft and malleable, and for thick cookies, you do not want to have warm dough going into the oven! Otherwise, they'll spread far too much and you'll have thin cookies.

Once they've chilled, put them in your preheated oven for about twelve to fifteen minutes. Mine took about fourteen. You want the tops of the cookies to look lighter, dry, and a bit dull. Pull them out when they're an even brown, but keep them on the cookie sheet to cool, since their bottoms will cook some more while they're on the sheet.

These cookies pack a ton of intense flavor into each bite. They're chocolaty without being overly sweet, and they're deliciously soft. Serve them warm with a glass of milk after dinner with friends, and prepare to reap praise! Everyone loved these, and I loved how easy they were to make. I had all the ingredients I needed at home, and I only dirtied two bowls!

Since we didn't exactly have any leftovers, I wouldn't know how long these would keep for... but I'm sure they'd at least keep for a few days in a Tupperware container!

I can't wait to continue to experiment with cocoa powder in the kitchen. Single's Awareness Day Valentine's Day is fast approaching, so there's my excuse!

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