29 September 2009

cocoa cookies: the antidote to a rough morning

It's Jules's Monday, not mine, but we're all feeling it. His first day of preschool each week falls on a Tuesday and every Tuesday Jules drags his feet getting ready, telling me he doesn't want to go, telling me he doesn't like it, telling me it's scary. Of course when he says these things, I take him seriously, and we talk about it. In the end, nothing terribly specific, or terribly scary (to me, at least) is identified. What he seems to be suffering from is a case of the Monday blues. This is my hunch because every time I go to pick him up on Tuesday afternoon he is chipper as can be (or, miraculously, napping). Some days it's hard to drag him away.

This morning as we were driving to school, along with the usual pleas to stay home so he could complete the important job of making his Playmobil Knights "fight" at the dining room table (with much participation from me),
Jules slipped in a request. "Will you bake cookies today, Mom?"

How could I say no to that? It seems to take every ounce of courage the kid can muster to show up for preschool on Tuesday mornings. So I was quick with the yes's. A little too quick, since I had no intention whatsoever of heading to the store today as my plan is to clear out the fridge and cupboards of anything that might pose as food before I spend another fortune on groceries. And this meant I had no eggs.

But lucky for
Jules, I had everything I needed for what turned out to be some of the tastiest cookies I've baked, probably, ever. I've adapted the recipe from Orangette(my go-to gal for guaranteed goodness these last few weeks), who adapted hers from Alice Medrich's recipe. My version has a bit more salt (which makes sweet things taste better, in my opinion) and I've added some instant espresso powder to boost the chocolate flavor.

The first thing
Jules asked me when I picked them up was, of course, "did you make cookies?" I did not dissapoint. He gobbled two in about two seconds while gulping a glass of milk, dubbed them "brownie cookies" and then asked for more. My answer of "after dinner" turned out to be NOT NEARLY SOON ENOUGH for Jules, which sparked some disgraceful tantrumming behavior, but I don't blame him. Chewy chocolate cookies can have that effect on me, too.

Cocoa chocolate chip "brownie" cookies
(based on this recipe from Orangette)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably not low- or nonfat (I used full-fat greek yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of 1% milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave briefly, until just melted. Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa and espresso powder. Stir to blend well. The mixture will be somewhat thick and pasty, like wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture, and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to hear it from the parent point-of-view. Every year I have a handful of parents who tell me their kid "doesn't want to be at school," but I see no evidence of it at all. Two days ago, one boy parked himself in the bathroom after washing his hands and wouldn't budge for his mom. She left him there, letting me know, "He might stay there all day." When I went in, he bounced up, smiling and charged off to play. I'm starting to suspect it has much more to do with torturing their parents than anything to do with school. =)

    Cookies work on me too.


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