For me, chocolate = love. Fortunately I married a man who feels the same way.
And I love baking with chocolate; in particular, chocolate chip cookies. Brad's a traditionalist when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, but I like to play around a bit. And lately I've been playing around with cookies made with Chocolove chocolate bars.
Each Chocolove chocolate bar has a love poem inside the wrapper; this was inside one of the chocolate bars I used for these cookies:
from If Thou'lt Be Mine
If thou'lt be mine, the treasures of air,
Of earth, and sea, shall lie at thy feet;
Whatever in Fancy's eye looks fair,
Or in Hope's sweet music sounds most sweet,
Shall be ours--if thou wilt be mine, love!
Bright flowers shall bloom wherever we rove,
A voice divine shall talk in each stream;
The stars shall look like world of love,
And this earth be all one beautiful dream
In our eyes--if thou wilt be mine, love!...
Lovely, no? We all need a little more "thou'lt" and "wilt" in our lives, don't you think?
Now, on to our cookies.
Chocolove Chip Cookies
I've made these cookies a few times, using different flavors of chocolate bars. The Almonds and Sea Salt in 55% Dark chocolate bar makes a great cookie, as does the Salted Peanut in 33% Milk chocolate Bar.
The recipe below uses mostly Crystallized Ginger in 65% Dark chocolate, a little bit of milk chocolate for variety, and cardamom to give them some kick.
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
110 grams (1/2 cup firmly packed) light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
315 grams (2 1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
6.4 oz (2 bars) Chocolove Crystallized Ginger in 65% Dark chocolate, roughly chopped
3.2 oz (1 bar) Chocolove Milk chocolate (33% cocoa), roughly chopped
In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda and salt (and cardamom, if using). Set aside.
Beat half the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until fairly smooth; add the rest of the butter, sugars and molasses and continue beating on medium speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and cream for a few minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat a minute or so on high to be sure everything is incorporated nicely.
Add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until the flour is fully combined. Add the chopped chocolate, and pulse on low speed a few times to incorporate.
For best results, chill the dough for a few hours (or overnight) before using. Want or need cookies right away? Then plow straight ahead.
Using a small ice cream scoop, form the cookie dough into balls and place a few inches apart on a baking sheet. (You want about 2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.) Press down on each, to slightly flatten.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges, rotating the pan halfway through baking. If you want softer cookies, mist the dough balls with water before baking.
Place the pans on wire racks for the cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
If you don't want to bake all the cookies, place the pans with the dough balls in the freezer for a few hours. Then transfer the dough balls to ziplock bags, and keep in the freezer for future use. You can either defrost the dough and bake as usual, or pop them straight into the oven and bake a little longer.