‘Just a little something’ Cookies Inspired by my BFF Doreen
My late best friend, Doreen was known for sporting an evil grin when, after almost every restaurant meal we had together, she’d look at the waiter and slyly ask for just a little something… perhaps a cookie for dessert? This was her way of taking a pass on that big bowl of Carolina fruit crumble, or New York style cheesecake – even if we were in the Deep South or the Big Apple at the time. She must have known there was a law and she was breaking it!
Her favorite just a little something cookies, were biscotti dipped in her cappuccino. Second favorite, were shortbread cookies.
She may be gone, but her habits live on in my world and make me miss her every day. I find myself craving just a little something after most meals too, and love that I can have a cookie, with my espresso late in the afternoon. I JUST LIKE COOKIES!
These days, I bake my own cookies rather than enjoy them dining out. I like having cookies in the cookie jar. I like sharing them with people that come around the house. I especially like taking home-baked cookies as a hostess gift when asked to dinner. My grandkids look forward to Nana’s cookies when they come over.
It’s all good, but it can always get better!
During a recent trip to the Spice and Tea Exchange, I sniffed one of their specialty sugars and got a wild idea. The sugar is wild berry and it really smelled like berries. A quick sample and yah… there is a distinctive berry taste! It was then I got the idea…. Berries and chocolate…. Chocolate and berries…. a chocolate cookie topped with wild berry sugar.
Next, I took things to a deep, dark place. A deep, dark chocolate place, I mean. I ordered black cocoa from King Arthur’s to make these the most chocolatey cookies I could bake!
Black cocoa powder is made through a process called Dutching – when the cocoa beans are washed with a potassium solution, which neutralizes the acidity of the beans. Natural cocoa powder is made from beans that are roasted and then pulverized into cocoa powder. Most supermarket brands of cocoa powder, like Hershey’s and Nestle are natural cocoa powders.
Dutching cocoa powder makes it darker and can help mellow the flavor of the beans. Therefore, extra Dutching creates black cocoa powder. Think about those dark chocolate wafer cookies that you find in ice box cake recipes or the outside of an Oreo cookie. These contain black cocoa. Most recipes suggest that you blend in black cocoa powder instead of totally swapping it out.
Long story short, these cookies are perfect with an afternoon latte, spot-on to offer to the delivery guy when he brings you your second Amazon box of the day, special to pass around to friends and as Doreen would say, it’s perfect when you’re looking for just a little something.
Dark Chocolate Cookies
With Wild Blueberry Sugar
Makes about 3 dozen
About 1 ½ hours until you are chomping on a cookie!
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
⅓ cup black cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons wild blueberry sugar (substitute with granulated sugar)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars until soft and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa powders, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flours in three additions until well combined (no white flour showing). Stir in the mini chips.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove one log from the fridge and slice into ¼-inch rounds. Place each slice onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each round with sugar. Bake until the cookies are just firm to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.