Although I can't say that I buy in to the extremely contrived commercial part of Valentine's day, I still must admit that I love the color red and cutting out hearts and baking lovely chocolate things like the next warm blooded creature. And I believe that it is important to take time to tell people in our lives that we love them.
In honor of our first *married* Valentine's, B cooked an amazing dinner and I baked a cranberry tart.
I did a bunch of baking this last week, in fact, including my favorite chocolate chocolate chip cookies. They are my go-to cookies when I need something fast and reliably great.
I originally found the recipe on some hoakey recipe website (you know those ones that always pop up on google first thing when you type in something like "lasagna" or "choc chip cookies" and have one million ads to wade through to get to the good stuff?), and it turned out to be magic.
I usually substitute in some turbinado sugar (unrefined and chunky -- like Sugar in the Raw)for some of the white stuff, which gives my version a little sugar crunch along with the smooth chocolately goodness.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temp.
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup turbinado (or another unrefined, chunky sugar)
2 T vanilla
2 cups flour (I use half white whole wheat and half All-purpose)
2/3 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (Ghirardelli if you're going big, otherwise your favorite milk or semi-sweet chip)
Heat oven to 350F.
Beat butter in a stand mixer until creamy, add sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition; then add vanilla and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and whisk together. Then add flour mixture slowly to butter mixture with the mixer on low (careful -- cocoa has a tendency to fly all over one's kitchen!) until just combined. Then add chips and mix.
Cover cookie sheet with baking parchment and spoon dough out onto sheet leaving about 2 inches between drops (these cookies don't spread as much as regular choc. chip cookies).
Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes, removing them from the oven when the edges are just set. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
The dough can be refrigerated for a few days, so they can baked off a few at a time to be enjoyed warm just out of the oven. Enjoy!