We work hard and play hard at work. We also eat well, with which I have a love/hate relationship. Someone on my team is an amazing chef and she keeps us well fed. A few weeks ago, a colleague brought in a plate of what I thought were chocolate chip cookies. Until I had my first bite. They brought me back to my childhood. My mom used to make congo squares. Basically they were chocolate cookie bars, dense and sweet. I loved them. I no longer have her recipe, and have tried to recreate her recipe many times. I came back a few times that day for more and more.
Last night we made them so Chris could partake. Yum.
Sometimes we take things for granted. You think something is part of something else and then when you really dig in you find out that is not the case. What did I take for granted?
Yes, it is true. In a conversation with someone recently the topic came up about the difference between milk/dark chocolate and white chocolate. I had never thought about it. They all have the name of chocolate, but are they really all chocolate? The person I was talking with said no. White chocolate is not at all like milk or dark chocolate.
Regardless of the truth, I can see there being different chocolate camps. I ebb and flow with my allegiance. I go through phases where all I want is white chocolate (especially around Christmas, as there is something yummy about candy canes with white chocolate). At other times, I am a dark chocolate fan, and for some reason feel like the higher cacao factor makes it healthier for me (maybe true)? In last place would be milk chocolate, unless you are talking about the chips in my chocolate chip cookies.
So what is the truth? From what I have researched, white chocolate has cocoa butter in it, where as milk and dark chocolate is made from cocoa plant. An excerpt from Diffen (a website that compares things) states:
“Dark chocolate and white chocolate both contain cocoa butter and are eaten as dessert or used in confectionery. Chocolate is derived from the bean of the cocao (cocoa) plant which breaks down in to chocolate liquor (the ground or melted state of the nib of the bean), cocoa butter (the fat component) and cocoa powder (the non-fat part of the cocoa bean ground into a powder). Dark chocolate is produced by adding cocoa butter to sugar and cocoa powder. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate does not contain any milk solids. White chocolate contains only cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids and no chocolate liquor or cocoa powder. So technically, white chocolate is not really chocolate at all.”
Did you learn something new or am I just slow to the game on chocolate?
On Sunday we caught up on a long list of items to do around the house. I went for a run, then we snuggled on the couch to fast forward through the Oscars. We paused our DVR to do laundry, and while I usually am the baker in this house, Chris decided to make these easy peasy cookies I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. They only have five ingredients:
Five Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies (from MarthaStewart.com)
Active Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 25 min.
1 cup almond butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir together almond butter, chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, and salt until a dough forms.
2. Place 1-tablespoon mounds of dough 1-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies until puffed and tops are set, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Easy peasy right? They were actually quite good. On the gooey side, but I love that they have no flour, contain almond butter, and the only thing that is really bad for you is the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. What is not to love? Plus they only make 30 (2.5 dozen) so that means you do not have to eat through a few dozen cookies.
Who knew? Adding vanilla pudding to chocolate chip cookies makes all the difference. Now, if you like crunchy chocolate chip cookies, then you might have a different opinion. I am a bit finicky, as I like my chocolate chip cookie to be softer. Usually I make them and only want to eat them warm on the first day. Often I will have one or two and then do not want anymore. Chris usually finishes the rest of them over the next few days. To me they only have a bit of glamour warm and straight from the oven.
Until last weekend. While at a neighbor’s house watching the Oscars, my neighbor’s girlfriend made cookies. They smelled delicious and a few of us talked about our own amazing chocolate chip cookie recipes. You know how everyone thinks their recipe is the best? His girlfriend mentioned that her recipe had vanilla pudding and toffee bits, and less white sugar. I do not want to admit to how many cookies I had that night. I was not successful at obtaining the recipe from her. I did go straight home and search the Internet and Pinterest until I found a recipe from “two peas & their pod” that looked good to me based on the ratio of butter, sugars, and flour.
This past Saturday night we had friends over, and I decided to make this new recipe. It does not list the toffee bits, but I added them anyway. These cookies are amazing. Who knew that vanilla pudding was the secret? I had one on Sunday (well maybe more than one) and they are still as good. I cannot remember the last time I had a chocolate chip cookie the day after I made them. While my waist might not be too happy about this new adventure, my mouth is ecstatic.
Note: If you decide to make these cookies, instead of using 2 cups of chocolate chips, I used 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of toffee bits. You could really use any amount, you decide.