Life With Chocolate

When I was a little girl I fantasized about Willi Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Growing up poor, I related to Charlie’s dream of winning the golden ticket and entering into a chocolate filled factory!

I still fantasize about chocolate, and on my never ending quest to make and eat as many chocolate products as possible, I ran across this amazing cookie recipe in Bon Appetite magazine (November’s issue).  The recipe appears in the book, Baking:  From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan.  These cookies win Greenspan’s vote for the greatest chocolate chip cookies.  Thin, crisp, and a bit chewy in the center.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli 60% cocoa, from World Market)
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchmentor silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed, or by hand with a ruber spatula, mix in the chocolate and nuts. 

(The dough can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen. If you’d like, rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, ready for baking. Freeze the mounds on a lined baking sheet, then bag them when they’re solid. There’s no need to defrost the dough before baking-just add another minute or two to the baking time.)

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.

Bake the cookies- one sheet at a time and rotating the sheet at the midway point- for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle, and that’s just fine. Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches. 



I want one of these fountains in the middle of my house!  I took this photo at Seattle Cooks.

They passed out pretzels for dipping.

Another discovery I made on Christmas Day was this very rich chocolate coffee drink.
 I do like mochas and hot chocolate, but I’m not kidding, this is the best I’ve ever made!


A little whipped topping and it’s ready to drink!

Chocolate-y Christmas Cafe au Lait
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
This is a take-off of sorts on Cafe Brulot, Hot Chocolate, and Cafe au Lait.   Both the Cafe Brulot and Cafe au Lait are served in New Orleans, the Brulot after dinner, and au Lait with breakfast.   Cafe Brulot consists of orange peel strips, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and sugar being ignited with liqueurs in a large bowl to which black coffee is added.  Traditional cafe au lait is scalded milk and black coffee simultaneously poured into a cup or carafe. Both are served piping hot.   And the chocolate added to this gives the coffee a definite hot chocolate twist, sure to please all age groups.  For a stronger coffee flavor, add another 1/2 cup hot coffee to the mixture.

1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 ( 2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 strip orange peel, about 1/2 inch by 3 inches
10 whole cloves
2 to 2 1/2 cups hot brewed strong coffee
1/4 cup cold heavy cream
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
Cocoa, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and cocoa until smooth. Add the cinnamon sticks, orange peel and cloves and bring to a simmer, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and prevent the cocoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar until thick and frothy, and peaks form. Set aside.

Strain the milk mixture into a coffee pot or carafe and add 2 cups of the hot coffee (2 1/2 cups for stronger coffee flavor, to taste). Pour into cups or small mugs and top each with a dollop of the sweetened whipped cream.

Serve immediately.






2 thoughts on “Life With Chocolate

  1. I love your website so much, we are alike in many ways of our taste on foods, traditions, gardening, style of decore! Its so nice..I always feel so good an peaceful when I come to your site..Thank you:) ❤

    • THANK YOU SHERRI! For visiting my pages. I’ve had some health issues, but I’m getting back in the “game”. It makes me feel especially good that you feel peaceful here because that is what I want to create. xoxo

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