Dining Features

Foodie for Thought: Fudgy Chocolate Cookie and Hot Chocolate Recipes

The holiday season is a time for traditions and family, and for me that means a lot of cooking, baking and eating! Around this time of year, the baking bug bites me and I can’t help but stock up on all the essentials.

Fudgy Chocolate Cookies have become a staple in my baking repertoire for the holidays. They are deliciously dark, dramatically chocolate and utterly irresistible.

I like my cookies chewy on the inside with a good crunch on the outside. I found a version of this recipe back in 2012 in a holiday edition of Rachael Ray magazine. Although that foodie queen proclaims to be not much of a baker, I simply adore this recipe and was hooked the first time I made them—and so was my family! I’ve quadrupled the recipe because one batch (or two, or three) just wasn’t enough to satisfy my crowd.

Another staple I can’t wait to make when it’s cold out is my Heavenly Hot Chocolate. Forget about those packages with freeze-dried bits that call themselves marshmallows! I like to use real milk, real cocoa, a few dashes of pure vanilla and a mountain of marshmallows or homemade whipped cream.

Nothing warms my soul like sitting around with friends and family, sipping some fresh, hot cocoa and munching on fudgy chocolate cookies.

Happy Holidays from this foodie and her family to yours!

FUDGY CHOCOLATE COOKIES

4 cups sugar
2 sticks (16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s)
3 cups flour

1. Using stand mixer, cream sugar, butter and salt until fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended.

2. Slowly add in your cocoa until thoroughly incorporated. Add the flour slowly until combined.

3. At this point, I like to let my dough chill in the fridge for about an hour. I think this step makes for an even “fudgier” cookie.

4. Preheat your oven to 350° when ready to bake. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper (so your cookies don’t stick!)

5. Scoop out 1 tsp of dough at a time (I like to use my teaspoon cookie scoop for even cookies)

6. Roll the dough into golf-sized balls and place evenly spaced dough balls on your cookie sheet.

7. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each dough ball to about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness. The thicker they are, the “fudgier” they’ll be.

8. This step is up to you. Time to top your cookies with something festive like edible gold dust, white sprinkles or red and green sprinkles—use your imagination and think HOLIDAY.

9. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Will yield about 8 dozen cookies.

HEAVENLY HOT CHOCOLATE FOR TWO

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey’s)
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat your milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. You want it to come to a light simmer, not boil.

2. In a small bowl, combine cocoa, sugar and salt. Divide evenly between two mugs.

3. Once the milk is heated, add in the vanilla, stir to combine.

4. Evenly divide the milk between the two mugs. Stir to combine.

5. Top with your favorite: marshmallows, whipped cream, etc.

Enjoy!

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