I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly did, although this year was rather different from what we’re usually accustomed to. Generally, we are contributors; meaning that we contribute to the Thanksgiving feast with a couple of side dishes or dessert, and we spend the holiday with our American family. So, I never had to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal from start to finish, from appetizers to desserts until this year… Say what? Yes, I cooked an entire holiday meal! And I didn’t set the kitchen on fire, go figure.
We fully embraced Thanksgiving and its three Fs: Family, Food and Football (mostly soccer, but that counts too, right?); and I would add a fourth – Friendship. So, I cooked for three people – our friend Claude, Adrian and me; two Romanians and a Ghanaian. Three internationals celebrating Thanksgiving.
We had the turkey, albeit not the whole bird but just a couple of turkey breasts, with the tastiest garlic based rub ever (of course, anything tastes better with garlic); my favorite cranberry sauce, maple sweet potatoes and maple-roasted Brussels sprouts (I felt like putting maple syrup in just about everything); I also couldn’t omit the Romanian style green peas, this fluffy basmati rice with a small bunch of golden raisins and toasted pine nuts tossed in there, some roasted nuts for appetizer, and the now iconic and a Thanksgiving must Chocolate Tart for dessert. We had a Thanksgiving dinner with an international touch. And it worked out beautifully; actually, it was mere perfection, and I’m not throwing these words around lightly.
But let’s leave Thanksgiving behind and look forward to more sweet concoctions since the holiday season has just begun. I’ve already had an alarming amount of chocolate these past few weeks, so I obviously found it suited to continue my diet with… more chocolate! That’s right; I’m getting into the holiday spirit and in the midst of cookie season with these glorious Cranberry Double-Chocolate Cookies.
These cookies are first and foremost loaded with chocolate and packed with flavor. I didn’t think that I could survive that much chocolate, but for some peculiar reason I couldn’t stop munching them. Second, these cookies are chunky, and chewy, and tart, and toasty, and everything you expect a cookie to be; oh, and did you know that chocolate and walnuts are best friends? They are in these cookies, at least. I’ll leave you now with this wonderful recipe while I go stuff my face with more cookies. Enjoy!
Cranberry Double-Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Gourmet (August 2007) via Epicurious.com
Makes: 30+ cookies
· 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
· ¾ teaspoon baking soda
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
· 1 cup light brown sugar
· ½ cup granulated sugar
· 2 large eggs, at room temperature
· 3 ½ oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch chunks
· 1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
· 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add chocolate chunks, walnuts, and cranberries, and with a spatula mix them until just incorporated.
Using a 1 ¼-inch ice cream scoop, spoon dough onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. With dampened fingers, flatten cookies slightly. Bake, switching the position of the sheet halfway through baking, until puffed and set, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Note: Cookies keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature 5 days.
Poftă Bună! (Bon Appétit!)