It’s Chocolate Season!

Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson

Okay, just like beer, every season can be chocolate season. I have chocolate on the brain though since I regularly visit Dagoba Organic Chocolate (they’re based in the town I live in, which helps). And if I’m thinking about something, that usually means I’m cooking with it.

And indeed I have been cooking with chocolate. And beer. And loads of other good ingredients.

Here’s a little tip about me: More often than not, if I think, “dessert sure sounds good” for some reason chocolate enters the picture. I love lemony things, savory treats and all varieties of desserts, at about any time of day. Though my tooth isn’t craving massive amounts of sweet, a little at just the right time is a day maker.

Over the weekend, for instance, I was craving oatmeal raisin cookies. You know, slightly chewy, feels-good-to-eat-them sort of wheels of baked wonderfulness. So to my cookbook shelves I went, in search of an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oddly enough, some of the cookbooks I thought would yield at least one had none. Alas – not one to give up easily, I persevered and located pay dirt in my 1987 Good Housekeeping All American Cookbook. Whew!

Since a recipe to me is an inspiration, rather than a step-by-step instruction list, I like to riff. This time I subbed out a few things AND added a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened Dagoba cacao powder.

Bingo!

The cookies came out with good texture, were slightly crispy, and the cocoa gave them a nice extra depth of flavor without making them very sweet. The raisins have the sweet part wrapped up and the recipe has my seal of approval.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I hope you explore and experiment when you cook. After all, recipes that delight you have to start somewhere!

Oh – and pairing these cookies with a tasty Milk Stout, Coffee Stout, and rich Porter would be truly rewarding. To the maker, go the spoils. Join me?

Till the next (cookie &) glass –

g

Go Here: Support your local Chocolate maker. Don’t know who they are? Use the Internet at your fingers tips to seek out and then buy and try their wares. All tasting has a hit or miss factor, so keep trying until you find one you like.

Try This: Adding chocolate to recipes provides a new layer of flavor depth. For instance, adding a nice chunk of a dark chocolate to a red meat or tomato based slow cooked chili is delightful. Adding a teaspoon of cocoa powder to a marinade gives it a subtle under layer of flavor with other complementary ingredients. Adding a heaping tablespoon to my cookie mix above lent it a nice deep blush as well as a soft cocoa-yness.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com or Ginger@WomenEnjoyingBeer.com

 

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