Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 02/2010

You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ I'm in the Mood for: Plain-Jane Chocolate Cookies ~

IMG_0270Hold the chocolate chunks, hold the chopped nuts and hold everything you think you can put in a chocolate cookie to impress me.  Don't bother sprinkling them with fancy sea salt, slathering them with caramel frosting or sandwiching them together with a layer of your best buttercream either.  It won't work.  As a well-seasoned foodie who lives in the blog world, where everyone strives to make each and every recipe unique in some way or another, in my kitchen, every once in a while, plain is the best flavor of all -- especially when it comes to these chocolate cookies.

Mostly crunchy, slightly chewy, just like mom used to make.

IMG_0280"Every once in a while, plain is the best flavor of all." ~ Melanie 

IMG_0266Generally speaking, when it comes to "chocolate anything", I don't crave it like most folks do -- I crave, for example, things like, mashed potatoes or french fries, fried chicken or hot dogs, and, rice pudding or a strawberry shake.  That said, I can't pass by a plate of basic chocolate cookies and not want one.  The kind I found in my lunch box at school or was given as a snack afterward. The kind that didn't take my mom five hours and a list of expensive ingredients to make.  The kind that doesn't get entered in a cookie competition but brings a smile to everyones face.  The one that was printed on the back of a tin of Hershey's cocoa powder back in the 1960's.  Sigh.

IMG_02061 1/4  cups salted butter, at room temperature (2 1/2 sticks)

2  cups sugar

2  large eggs, at room temperature

1  tablespoon pure vanilla extract

IMG_02633/4  cup "sort of firmly-packed" cocoa powder (Note:  My mom, and everyone in PA during the '60's and '70's, used Hershey's. Why wouldn't we?  Hershey's is a very-respected Pennsylvania company.  That said, unless you're buying Hershey's Dutch process cocoa powder, Hershey's cocoa powder is not Dutch process cocoa powder, which is why baking soda is used as a leavening agent.  If you choose to use Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe, that is fine, but, substitute baking powder in place of baking soda.)

2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda

1/2  teaspoon sea salt

IMG_0207 IMG_0209 IMG_0211~ Step 1.  In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:  cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  Line three 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

IMG_0214 IMG_0216 IMG_0219 IMG_0222 IMG_0224 IMG_0226~Step 2.  In a large bowl, place butter and sugar. On high speed of hand-held electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl almost constantly.

IMG_0226~ Step 3 (pictured above).  Add and beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, about 1 minute.  Mixture will be soft and creamy.  On low- medium-low mixer speed, add and thoroughly incorporate the dry mixture in 2-3 increments, scraping down the sides of the bowl with the spatula constantly, until a thick, pasty cookie batter forms.  Note:  If the batter gets too thick for your hand-held mixer to handle, remove the mixer and fold it in with the spatula.

IMG_0227 IMG_0234~ Step 4. Working one-pan-at-a-time and using a 1 3/4" ice-cream scoop as a measure, place scoopfuls of dough, well apart, 12 on each pan.  Place the first pan in refrigerator to chill, while scooping the next pan, about 10 minutes. Repeat this "chilling/baking" process with second pan while first pan is in the refrigerator and subsequently in the oven to bake, and, a third time with the third pan.

IMG_0243~ Step 5.  Bake cookies, one-pan-at-a-time, on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Cookies will be puffed and cracks will appear across the surface. Do not overbake.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5-6 minutes prior to transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Cookies will and should flatten as they cool.

A beautiful ball of cookie dough ready to go into the oven:

IMG_0235A beautiful puffed-up cookie coming out of the oven:

IMG_0238I'm in the Mood for:  Plain-Jane Chocolate Cookies:  Recipe yields 2 1/2 dozen, 3 1/2"-round, mostly-crunchy, slightly-chewy, plain, chocolate cookies.

Special Equipment List:  hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 3, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; 1 3/4" ice-cream scoop; wire cooling rack; small spatula

IMG_9598Cook's Note:  For a completely-loaded chocolate cookie recipe, complete with chocolate chunks, dried cherries, aromatic spices and a bit of cayenne pepper too, check out my recipe for ~ Loco for Cocoa: Spicy Chocolate Cherry Cookies ~ in Categories 7 or 13.  They're a chocolate-lovers dream come true!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016 


Now how much fun is that -- I'm happy to be a part of yours and Jane's celebration!!!

Mel, my friend Jane, is in town from Michigan. Her birthday is on the 6th and we always celebrate together. I told her I would make your "Plain Jane" cookies for her birthday dinner on Sunday. She, and these cookies, are anything but plain!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment