It’s Chocolate Season!
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.