Monday, December 21, 2009

Triple-Threat Chocolate Cookies

I have a notion that if I put my mind to it, I can post a different dessert every day from now to Christmas. Let's see...

I made these for the lab Christmas party last week. Always a fun time with good food and strange gifts in the white elephant secret Santa gift exchange extravaganza. I got lottery tickets at first and was sorry when they were stolen from me. I finally ended up with Plato's Republic, briefly thought of trying to make time to read it, flipped it open and ended up at the part where Plato is proposing the abolition of marriage and the eugenic breeding of the best members of the state to produce children to be brought up in state nurseries... and I decided it can go to the bottom of my to-read list, with the other books I'll never get to.

So anyway, here's a recipe my mom cut from the L.A. Times ages ago. It's a chocolate cookie with two kinds of chocolate chips: semisweet and white chocolate. For Christmas I replaced the semisweet chips with red and green M&Ms. Behold:

3/4 cup butter - (1 1/2 sticks)
6 tablespoons shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, unbleached
2/3 cup cocoa, measured then sifted (I never worry about the sifting.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup whipping cream (You can leave the cream out; I do.)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 1 cup red and green M&Ms for Christmas)
1 cup white chocolate, cut into chunks (or white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter with shortening to blend, scraping down sides of bowl often. Blend in granulated and brown sugars and salt.

Stir in eggs and vanilla. If mixture seems curdled, stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to bind.

In another bowl, stir together flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix into batter on low speed of mixer, scraping bowl sides often. When almost mixed, stir in cream. Fold in chocolate. Chill batter 10 minutes.

Place about 1/4 cup batter per cookie on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten with wet hands, leaving 2 inches space between each cookie. (OR: spoon out very small cookies and bake about 8 or 9 minutes.) Bake at 350 degrees until cookies look barely set--middles will seem slightly wet--about 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool about 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing with metal spatula. Finish cooling on rack. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 18 huge cookies, 75 small ones, or any number in between.

So you mix up the dough and it looks like this:

Spoon out in rather small amounts onto parchment paper:

It bakes up like this!

Very Christmassy indeed. We need a Christmas plate for them.

And perhaps a closeup.

Or two.

Goodnight, all!

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