Friday, 29 August 2014

Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

I spent almost two months in Italy, on holidays, and the blog had a vacation too. Not because I did not cook or try new recipes; in fact I made several interesting trials, mainly sweets and pasta recipes, that I want to make again soon and share on the blog. But, how can I say, the context was not ideal for working at the blog. The main issue was actually how to take decent pictures: in a "normal" family food is prepared to be eaten; it has to be good and tasty, how it looks is of secondary importance, especially if it is supposed to be served straight away after preparation (think for example to a plate of pasta). And so I did not feel like involving the whole family (I mean both mine and my husband's where I stayed during these months) in the weird rite of taking pictures of the plates before eating them, even if really deserving to be shared, and desisted from publishing on the blog. But now I am back home, where I can take more time to prepare a (sort of) photographic set, arrange food in a nice manner and take as many pictures as I want (even if sometimes no one of them comes out good enough to be published).  
And the first thing I want to share after summer holidays is a recipe for cookies, better, a recipe for chocolate cookies. Is there anything better than chocolate to make anyone happy, even if he or she has to come back to work? Very interesting is the fact that these cookies are really easy and fast to make: in less than one hour you will have a delicious, rich and flavorful treat perfect as a dessert as well as an elegant snack, with a cup of coffee or tea (but also with some liquor like rum). And also they are not too fat and heavy: in fact the amount of butter is relatively low and there is no egg in the batter (there is plain yogurt instead). 
I made these cookies many times, changing only the type of cocoa and yogurt because I think that they are wonderful this way, but if you want to try alternative versions you can refer to the suggestions of the blog Orangette, where I found the recipe.
Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips
adapted from orangette
makes about 24 cookies
125 g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
50 g unsalted butter
80 g granulated sugar
45 light brown sugar
52 g unsweetened cocoa powder
80 ml plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
75 g dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Put the butter in bowl and melt it (in the microwave or putting the bowl over a pan of simmering water). Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa. Using a whisk mix until everything is amalgamated. Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and stir to combine well. Add also the powders and stir briefly, just to incorporate. Finally add the chocolate chips and combine. The dough will be soft and sticky. In order to handle it better, it is possible to keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour (or in the freezer 20 minutes).  
With wet hands, roll the dough in balls of 1 tablespoon-size (I use my measuring spoon to make all the cookies the same size) and put them evenly spaced on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly (they will be still soft when removing the sheet from the oven, and so they should be). Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about  10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

These cookies are at their best if eaten the same day, but they keep well in an airtight container for about 3 days, at room temperature. Since they tend to be sticky I usually put them in a cookie jar separated by layers of parchment paper. 
·       It is possible to make these cookies without chocolate chips or substitute all or part of them with other additions of your choice, for example nuts (walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts,...) or dried cherries or cranberries.
·        Based on my experience (I made these cookies several times) I recommend to use the best cocoa powder you can; in fact being the quantity of cocoa powder relatively high, it deeply influences the final result in terms of both flavor and taste. I have to say that the best result I had so far is with Valrhona cocoa (which is usually recommended by most of professional patissiers): the chocolate flavor is deeper and also the color is much darker than using different cocoa powder brands. 

Chewy cocoa cookies with chocolate chips

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