Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hot Chocolate Cookies

With our first snow storm a couple days ago and temperatures now in the 20s or lower, it seems that winter has finally taken up residence in NYC.

Call me crazy, but I actually prefer the extreme cold over 40 or 50 degree weather, for two reasons.

First, (and this is HUGE for my decision-impaired personality), the extreme cold considerably narrows down my wardrobe choices. Which coat to wear? The puffiest one. Which scarf to wear? The fuzziest one. Which hat to wear? The covers-my-ears-iest one. 

See? Easy decisions.

The second reason I like the cold weather is that it gives me an excuse to drink things like hot chocolate. And mochas. And peppermint hot chocolate. And Bailey's with hot chocolate.

I mean, chocolate with Bailey's.

In short, the cold weather gives me the excuse to consume one of my favorite treats--chocolate--in warm, comforting, liquid form. What could be better than that?

Well, possibly these cookies.  Because these are my favorite treat in warm, comforting, liquid form in cookie form.

Beck and I have made these cookies no less than three times since we discovered the recipe, to rave reviews each time. DaddyBob--usually a man of few words--waxed poetic about their perfect blend of crispiness and chewiness. "Better than a regular chocolate chip cookie!" he said.

They're also great because you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry, especially if you're like me and have nine thousand boxes of hot chocolate packets because you buy a box every time the weather gets cold "just in case you don't have any at home."

These cookies also keep extremely well, and perhaps get even better over the course of a couple days (assuming you can keep them around for that long!). And they're awesome dipped in milk. Or hot chocolate. Or Bailey's.

So next time it gets cold and you find yourself asking, "Which cookies to bake?," don't fret over the choices. The cookie you should bake is as obvious as choosing the covers-my-ears-iest hat. Which cookies to bake? The hot chocolate-iest ones, of course.

Stay warm,

Hot Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Baked Bree
Makes several dozen cookies

3 1/4 cups flour
4 packages Hot Chocolate Mix (not sugar free)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup each white, milk, and semi-sweet chocolate chips (or 3 cups any combination of chocolate chips)
marshmallow fluff (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients in 3 batches, blending well between each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Chill cookie dough for 45 minutes (this is not terribly essential, so feel free to skip if you’re short on time). Near end of chilling time, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Drop dough in heaping tablespoons onto prepared sheets* and bake 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are just starting to brown around the edges. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

*To add a marshmallow swirl to the cookies (as pictured), scoop a tablespoon of dough into the palm of your hand and flatten dough between your palms. Spread dough with a small amount of marshmallow fluff (just as much as you can scoop on the tip of a knife, maybe a ¼ - ½ teaspoon). Fold dough up around fluff and roll dough into a ball between your palms. Place on cookie sheet and bake as directed above.

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