A Variation on Perfection
Just after the toaster oven chocolate chip cookies had been finished off, my coworker Mara brought back some cookies she had made on her days off visiting friends. But we ate all those fairly quickly. The fieldwork we do involves a lot of driving, as we are monitoring hawk nests scattered over a decent chunk of the southwestern corner of Saskatchewan. Clearly, a lot of snacks are essential to make it through the day, and along with healthy things like carrot sticks and hummus, grapes, strawberries, and other fruit, rice cakes with peanut or almond butter, dates and dried apricots, trail mix and some sort of sandwich (I told you I need a lot of snacks!) cookies are a clear necessity. However, we had to get by without for a few days as work kept me too busy to bake.
Yesterday we had to meet up with someone from a crew posted in southeastern Alberta to pick up a giant extension ladder to reach taller nests so that was a second incentive to bake cookies– it’s just Mara and me here so I was happy for a chance to deliver baking to some of my other coworkers. So thankfully the evening before we got back early-ish to do some data entry and I could update nest records in between batches of cookies.
While birding on my last days off I went to Moose Jaw to round out my baking supplies, since I had confirmed that I could bake in the toaster oven. I was very pleased to find out that the Superstore there had a decent natural foods section, including Camino organic fair trade cocoa and chocolate chips. The chocolate chips are fantastic– smooth and pure-tasting. I got the 55% cocoa (semi-sweet) but they come in a bittersweet 71% cocoa as well.
I was excited to try them both out so I decided to do the logical thing and make double chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t have a recipe and after searching online I decided the best thing would be to use the same recipe as I did last time but switch out some flour for cocoa. I also added walnuts to balance the intense chocolately nature. This time I made a full batch instead of halving the recipe as I normally do, so I had more chocolately perfection to share.
(makes about 3 dozen)
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp hot water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
Preheat oven to 375*F. While oven is preheating, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, watching carefully. Cream together brown sugar and butter, then mix in hot water and egg. Stir together flour, sifted cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder until well-combined. Mix in, then mix in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by heaping teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
These are slightly softer than the regular version, if you find your dough too soft you can add an extra tablespoon or more of flour. It is impossible to judge doneness by colour, so you might want to bake a test cookie before putting in a whole sheet-full.
My friend Katie has just proclaimed June to be a month of cookies, and that sounds like a good idea to me. As I said, they are essential for fieldwork. So stayed tuned for some more cookie recipes. Also, if you’ve been missing the Sunday Bread Series, it should be back to it’s regularly sceduled slot this weekend.
How do you feel about chocolate chocolate chip cookies? A good variation or too much of a good thing? What’s your favourite kind of cookies?