Saturday, April 11, 2009

The best way to heat your home

I woke up this morning with popsicle toes. I could hardly stand to let Isaac wrap his frigid little fingers around my warm(ish) neck when I got him out of his crib. It was even colder downstairs. I thought this place was insulated! There’s only one thing to do in this kind of weather: BAKE SOMETHING!! And quickly!

Let’s see, what to make? I had some leftover Valrhona cocoa powder that I’ve been dying to use, and chocolate seemed like a good flavor for this kind of weather. A cake seemed to smack of time and effort, and the point of this exercise was to heat up the house now. It seemed a little blasphemous to mingle such high quality cocoa powder with such less-than-high-quality solid chocolate for brownies.

It looked like the criteria would have to be
a) quick prep time - we're talking near-instant gratification here;
b) easy to make (i.e. didn’t require a machine or pots);
c) didn’t require any ingredients to sit around to reach room temperature; and
d) used only cocoa powder as the flavoring. The solution was… THESE!

Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips! In a word: I’veDiedAndGoneToHeavenIt’sSoGood.

I think these might be my new dream cookie. So quick and easy to put together, dirties very few dishes, mixed by hand, and most importantly, DELICIOUS! The crisp outer shell yields to a dense, chewy, oh-so-chocolatey interior. It’s moist, it’s got plenty of chocolate punch, it's moderately health-ish (yogurt's good for you, right?), and it’s not cloyingly sweet like too many chocolate goodies tend to be. The cinnamon served to deepen the chocolate flavor without making its presence a nuisance. Can anyone ask for more? My house is not only pleasantly toasty downstairs now, but the air is also spiked with the heady aroma of chocolate. Do yourself a favor and go make this. Right now.

Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Orangette, who adapted from Alice Medrich

These should keep for several days in an airtight container (though they haven't yet made it past the 2-day mark in this house, and that's when we try to exercise will power!). The amount of cocoa doesn't have to be too exact; just stay near the 1/2 cup mark. Also, don't be tempted to add more cinnamon - the idea is for you not to really taste it.

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. (2 oz or 50 g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt, not nonfat
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Melt butter in a medium bowl. Add the sugars and cocoa to the melted butter. (Sift cocoa if it is lumpy) Stir until mixture is blended and has the consistency of thick paste. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture and chocolate chips, and stir to just combine.

Drop dough by generous tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Allow cookies to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Yields approx. 2 dozen

1 comment:

  1. These were amazing - I especially loved that little bit of cinnamon you put in them!


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