And so it begins! My very much anticipated Chocolates & Confections course at Le Cordon Bleu started this morning with a delicious bang. Like a brilliant artist, chocolate is difficult and temperamental to work with yet yields superb, unparalleled results. A key aspect of working with chocolate is understanding the make-up of the various chocolate ingredients that line store shelves. Educating my palate by tasting and cooking with a variety of chocolate is the first step in this process and I am, of course, more than happy to proceed.
The first dish on my chocolate tour is my very own Food of the Gods Chocolate Cookie. This is a basic cookie that incorporates five chocolate ingredients: dutch processed cocoa powder, creme de cocoa liqueur, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. Despite the bevy of chocolate based ingredients, the chocolates are perfectly balanced to offer a splendid chocolate taste without the overwhelming Death by Chocolate indulgence.
The Latin name for the cocoa tree is Theobroma cacao, which literally means food of the gods. An appropriate name for a complex, beloved ingredient with a rich history around the world and an inspired future in my own kitchen. xo Maggie Louise
● 1 and 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
● 1 and 1/2 c. Dutch Cocoa Powder from Savory Spice Shop (feel free to substitute with a different dutch processed cocoa powder, but this one is my favorite!)
● 1 and 1/2 tsp. table salt
● 1 and 1/4 tsp. baking soda
● 1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
● 1 and 1/2 c. granulated sugar
● 2 large eggs, room temperature
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (no imitations!)
● 1 tsp. creme de cocoa (optional)
● 2/3 c. white chocolate chips
● 2/3 c. milk chocolate chips
● 2/3 c. dark chocolate chips
Once the butter is room temperature, cut each stick into cubes to ease the mixing process and place in a mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar. With a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix until combined, paste-like and you no longer see chunks of butter. Crack room temperature eggs into a small bowl. Add eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture and beat thoroughly after each egg. Once eggs are incorporated, stir in vanilla and creme de cocoa. Add the dry ingredients, one-third at a time. Stir after each addition until completely incorporated but once incorporated, stop stirring. Carefully fold in the chocolate pieces. Tightly cover the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Once you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet (or 2 if available) with parchment paper. With your hands, roll pieces of the dough into balls and place them on the cookie sheet in a staggered fashion, at least 2 inches apart. Keep the sizes consistent on each sheet so that your cookies bake evenly. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are set in the center. Once out of the oven, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve on an antique glass cookie tray or a brightly colored platter. Enjoy!