long time, no post

I don’t exactly have an original recipe today, but it’s an original take on a recipe that HIGHLY recommend. These chocolate cookies provide the most perfect chewy goodness that could ever be desired. Even better, they’re low-fat/guilt-free. The original recipe was not vegan but it was easily veganized. So what was my original take on it? I used the recipe to create black forest swirl cookies. After making the dough, i rolled it out flat in a small jelly roll pan, lined and wrapped with plastic wrap. I made a cherry spread by soaking 3/4 cup dried cherries in 1.5 cups of water+2 tablespoons lemon juice. After an hour, I pureed the cherries (drained) together with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1-2 tablespoons of the soak water. Then I took the dough out of the fridge and spread the cherry mix in an even layer. Simply rolled it up jelly roll style, and then sliced the log into 1/2in – 3/8in discs and baked according to the recipe. These are my cookies of redemption. I made awful black and white cookies yesterday, and made the mistake of having people outside of my family taste them. I, personally, cannot go on having people think I bake THAT badly- they were REALLY bad cookies. Thankfully, these turned out perfect. Notes: (I also omitted the chocolate chips because they were rich enough alone)…pictures will be up later-they’re gorgeous.              

  Recipe: (from here)

Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Alice Medrich

The original version of these cookies doesn’t have chocolate chips, so I guess you could leave them out, but I think they’re pretty important. This is a relatively virtuous treat, as cookies go, so that extra boost of richness is nice. Plus, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. No. Such. Thing. Don’t even try to argue.

Of course, you’re welcome to throw in other additions as well. I’ve put chopped pistachios in here, and they were wonderful. I’ll bet dried cranberries or cherries would be good too. Or toasted walnuts. Whatever you choose, I’d keep the quantity of additions to about ½ cup in total. And I’d make sure that at least some of that ½ cup is chocolate chips. For example, when I do pistachios, I use ¼ cup, plus ¼ cup chocolate chips.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably not low- or nonfat
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips, preferably Ghirardelli brand, either semisweet or bittersweet

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, and salt.

Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave briefly, until just melted. Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa. (You can skip the sifting if you want, but my cocoa almost always has lumps, and I don’t like cocoa lumps in my cookies.) Stir to blend well. The mixture will be somewhat thick and pasty, like wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture, and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. (I use my tablespoon-size measuring spoon to scoop and shape the dough into little domes. Rinsing the spoon regularly helps to keep the dough from sticking, and leaving the spoon slightly wet after each rinsing helps too.) You should be able to fit about 8 or 9 cookies, nicely spaced, on a standard sheet pan. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Note: These cookies keep nicely at room temperature for a couple of days. I store mine in a large plastic bag, and I usually stick a paper towel in there with them. It helps to regulate moisture and keep the cookies fresh and chewy. (It’s a trick Brandon taught me, one he learned from an ex-girlfriend’s mother. Thank goodness for ex-girlfriends, right?)

Yield: About 20 cookies



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