Wednesday, July 7, 2010

[Cookie 081] Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies

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Sometimes I just want to spontaneously bake something, without any planning. I bet I'm not alone on that one--sometimes you just get the sudden urge to mix together a bunch of butter and sugar and make the kitchen smell delicious, but you don't really have any specific or fancy ingredients on hand. It's times like those that I wish I lived in the storage kitchen on the Martha Stewart show (does that even exist? storage kitchen?). So, when this overpowering desire to bake springs up, you've got to make do with whatever you have and make it work. Sometimes this does not pan out so well (see: Pine Nut Cookies), but other times, like this one, it works out just swell.

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The evening that my dad and I made these Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies, we wanted to bake something, but didn't have any dried fruits, nuts, or even baking chocolate for that matter. We did have cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed, however), and we had the basics like sugar, flour, butter, eggs. So we settled on this recipe and got to work. We compromised the Dutch-processed cocoa powder by adding an extra pinch of baking soda to the regular cocoa powder we had on hand. And fortunately we had some vegetable shortening on hand too.

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The vegetable shortening I think is the one ingredient that makes these cookies a little different than your average chocolate sugar cookie. It makes the batter taste different (in a good way), and makes the cookies a little richer in a way. It's hard to describe, but I liked it. In some of the extra research on cookie-baking that I occupy my free time with (don't laugh at me, it's not funny), I learned that shortenings have far less water in them compared to butters, so they can be used as a type of fat for cookies that you don't want to spread out too thin. On the other side of the coin, if you want your cookies flat and thin and spread out, you should use a fat with a lot of water in it, such as vegetable oils, etc. Now you know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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So it all worked out well considering it was a last minute cookie. It was a super easy recipe that baked up quickly and satisfied our craving for freshly baked cookies in no time. I'd recommend you try the recipe out if you're in the same boat as we were, but if you're looking for a truly outstanding chocolate cookie that will blow people away, I'd suggest something more like the Milk Chocolate Cookies, Grammy's Chocolate Cookies, or Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sour Cherries (those are the best, by farrrr).

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Alright, hop to it! I'll see you all soon!

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Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Makes 8 (I made smaller ones, and more of them...)

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup good-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, substitute 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in shortening (or additional butter). Add egg and vanilla; mix until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  • Using a 2 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 4 inches apart. Bake until edges are firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 1/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 5/5 (That was the point, wasn't it!)
    Tastiness: 3.5/5
    Attractiveness: 3/5
    Is it worth it?: If you are desperate for a quick, easy, tasty cookie--do it!

    {Pairings}
    Drink: Milk, it would seem. Or coffee. Nothing like dipping a chocolate cookie into a strong cup o' jo.
    Song: Wagon Wheel -- Old Crow Medicine Show (stupid video, douchey-looking singer, amazing song)
    Activity: Movie. Sleepover. Something adorable and comforting and slightly nostalgic, like these cookies.

    4 comments:

    Becky said...

    Sounds delightful and love the activities to go along with the yummy cookie.

    Patricia Scarpin said...

    I made these a while ago and they were a hit with my coworkers!

    Jen said...

    What the hell kind of cookie recipe has a predicted yield of EIGHT cookies? Sometimes I think Martha is crazy.

    Ada said...

    I have never thought about making a chocolate sugar before. Very nice idea.