Cocoa Chip Cookies and Mother’s Day

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To celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend I baked cookies for my kids. This made perfect sense to me. I was, of course, thinking of my mom. She baked for my brothers and me all the time. We would often come home from school to the smell of cake – one of her specialties was a Tandy Cake (made with a layer of yellow sheet cake topped with peanut butter then topped with melted chocolate, made to taste like the tasty cake).  Hmmm, I should make it. Mom, get the recipe book out!

I was also thinking of my kids.  They are the people who make me a mom after all. My works in progress of sorts. If it sounds like I take being a mom seriously, then I am putting my thoughts to paper accurately.

My husband and I are working hard to raise two empathetic, respectful, contributing, independent people. At only twelve years old, we still have so much work ahead. But each little victory gets us that much closer – our son offering to help his sister, our daughter asking a quiet girl at school to come sit at her lunch table with her friends – Yay team!

So yea, I baked cookies to celebrate all of this. And they were good!

Fudgey, chewy chocolate cookies with semi-sweet morsels and toasted almonds that gave them a slightly nutty crunch. I ate two of them just so I could accurately describe them for you. You’re welcome.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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2 and 1/4 cup ap flour

1/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbs baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temp.

2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels, I use Ghirardelli

1 cup toasted sliced almonds

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Preheat your oven to 375.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium size bowl.

In the bowl of a standing mixer beet the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add both sugars gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla and then eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl. Add one third of the flour mixture on low speed. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture just until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels and the toasted almonds. (To toast the almonds, scatter in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Watch them closely. When you can actually start to smell the almonds they are ready to come out of the oven.)

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.

Drop the dough by generous tablespoon 2 inches apart. Bake until firm but still a bit soft in the center, about 10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

If any of these cookies survive the first day, you can store them in an airtight container for up to one week.

Tips:

My dark brown sugar does not get used as often as the light brown version. As a result it can harden which makes it tough to incorporate into batters. Here is what to do to make it fresh again. Place the hard brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl next to another bowl filled with water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You can do this for additional time  but watch closely to be sure you don’t melt it. A minute usually does the trick.

To get even sized cookies that look like the bakery, I use a small tablespoon size ice cream scoop.

To avoid the burn, set a timer to alert you when your batch is ready to come out of the oven.

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