Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Photo of Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

C Is For Cookie
Recently, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about cookies. It’s not that I have a raging craving, though I am always up for a tasty cookie. The reason is that I am finding it harder to find a really great cookie that I don’t make myself. I’m talking about cookies you can bring as a hostess gift or that work well on a pretty plate for an easy dessert for a dinner party. For years, Taste of Denmark (a.k.a Neldam’s), had some of the best tea cookies around. But alas, they are gone.

Here at the store, we used to carry multiple vendors’ cookie tubs and we still have a couple, but the others have disappeared. Not sure if they were just victims of the pandemic or simply went out of business. (For example, Gianna’s. It happens…)

Many large chain grocery stores are packaging their on-site bakery cookies in convenient economy sizes which can be great for those times you need to bring a treat for a crowd. Do they blow me away flavor-wise? Not really. Although, with apologies to my beloved Oreos and Walker’s shortbread, they are a step up from the everyday boxed cookies on the shelf.

Nowadays you are no longer limited to the grocery aisles to cure your cookie craving. If you have been anywhere near a suburban strip mall recently you will no doubt have seen or at least heard about a certain cookie chain that has taken the country by storm. I have tried their cookies a few times. And, for me, the cookies are too sweet and underbaked. I know that I am very much in the minority with that opinion.

So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be presenting cookie recipes for everyday eating. These are cookies that, while tasty enough to be considered for the Christmas cookie box, are really for your lunchbox or that three o’clock afternoon snack.

First up, these beauties, Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I have a hard time refusing anything that has the flavor of coffee in it. Add chocolate to the mix and you have my full attention. These cookies are gooey from the oven but cool to something that is a bit chewier—like a brownie. One of these cookies with a latte in the afternoon can change your whole outlook on life!

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies Recipe
Yields 18 large cookies
Adapted from Cookies: The New Classics by Jesse Szewczyk Read more…

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Photo of Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies in a white box on a dark backgroundChocolate Chip MVP
I don’t usually consider a chocolate chip cookie to be decadent. I do consider them awesome and worthy of binge eating—but not necessarily decadent. That was until my sister made some cookies for my Super Bowl party.

Since I was in charge of the main meal, I asked my sister to bring something sweet. She rolled up with some of the best cookies I have tasted in a long while. If you were fortunate to get a box of Sees candy for Valentine’s Day, you may have encountered the piece they call a Butterscotch Square. It is one of my all-time favorites. It is a mouth-wateringly-tasty morsel of brown sugar goodness covered in chocolate. And, it was the first thing I thought of when I bit into those chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies has no regular granulated sugar. It is all about the brown sugar. And, I am here for it. That is what makes them so gloriously rich and decadent. I am usually good for at least two but usually three chocolate chip cookies when given the chance but not these. I could only handle one.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t go back later and try again…

Full disclosure, the original recipe calls for using milk chocolate. We both agreed that while the milk chocolate was tasty, it didn’t provide enough chocolate oomph for our tastes. Therefore I am suggesting using bittersweet chocolate. Feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies Recipe
Adapted from All About Cookies by Christina Tosi
Yields 12 to 18 cookies Read more…

Decadent Chocolate Tart

Photo of Decadent Chocolate Tart on a countertopChocolate Decadence
It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. I like desserts of all kinds—but I do have a bit of a preference for fruity desserts. Except when I don’t.

When handed a dessert menu at a restaurant I will scan the entire list of offerings. I look for the fruity one first, then the carb-y one. (I’m looking at you, bread pudding.) There is almost always something chocolatey. And, although I love chocolate, it’s usually my last choice. There are occasions however when nothing but chocolate will do.

When I am in the mood for a chocolate dessert, I need some serious chocolate. I don’t mean something with a little chocolate in it or a few chocolate chips. I mean I need some seriously deep, death-by-chocolate flavors. I want decadence. I want something that requires coffee or some other beverage to cut the richness. And, don’t even think about stealing a bite. There will be no sharing. You need to order your own.

This Decadent Chocolate Tart is the exact type of chocolate dessert I mean. It’s gorgeous in its simplicity. It’s dark and rich and the shiny ganache on top dares you to swipe your finger through it. You could also make it in smaller individual tarts if, like me, you don’t want to share.

Decadent Chocolate Tart Recipe
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields 8-10 Servings Read more…

Classic Chocolate Mousse

Image of classic chocolate mousse in a stemmed serving bowlIt Mousse Be Love
When I was a kid, I would order chocolate mousse whenever it was an option on the dinner menu. I thought it was the height of sophistication until my eight-year-old eyes were opened to the wonder that is a well-caramelized crème brûlée.

Strangely, chocolate mousse is not a dessert option you see all that often anymore, at least not as a standalone. It is out there in the wild. But, you have to look for it. Sure, there are chocolate mousse cakes—but a single dish of chocolate mousse? Not really. And a Pot de Crème is not the same thing.

Perhaps it is time chocolate mousse made a comeback?

The hot summer months are a great time to give Classic Chocolate Mousse a try because all that is needed is a microwave and a hand mixer. No hot oven (or even stoves) is required. What is required is good quality chocolate. Not the stuff you eat in the afternoon that I like to refer to as rescue chocolate. Good quality baking chocolate like Guittard or Valhrona is key.

While I do like my chocolate mousse straight up, I will from time to time add flavor, like a little espresso or something boozy. Just be careful not to add too much or your chocolate will seize and become grainy and/or greasy.

Real legit chocolate mousse is rich and decadent. Real chocolate mousse is not melted chocolate combined with whipped cream. If you make it the right way, Classic Chocolate Mousse contains butter and eggs which give the mousse its silky fluffiness. Don’t be afraid of the fact that the eggs are not cooked. It’s not too different than the runny yolks of a fried egg. If you are concerned, just make sure that the eggs you use are pasteurized and you should be just fine.

Classic Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Yields 4 servings

Classic Chocolate Mousse is both rich and creamy, yet light and fluffy.
This is a classic chocolate mousse made French-style. It has less cream, an intense chocolate flavor, and a beautiful, creamy mouth feel.

Note that this recipe needs at least 5 hours in the fridge to set before serving. Read more…