Lest you think it’s all root veggies and greens around here, I present to you the quickest and one of the most satisfying cookies I make. Actually last Saturday was the first time ever that I taught a class and sent people home without a treat. Even for the students who had never been to a class and wouldn’t have known any better I had to do a spiel about how this class was shorter, focused on winter greens and how I managed to squeeze five dishes into our 90 minute class which is why they weren’t getting dessert. They were gracious and I think will return, however, I do love to bake and even if class time doesn’t permit the making or even eating of something sweet, there are always those little waxed paper bags concealing something for the road on your way out the door.
This cookie is in that rotation. And I, in my cook-with-what-you-have fashion, vary them each time. Sometimes I use whole-wheat pastry flour, sometimes spelt or sometimes just all-purpose. Today it’s golden raisins but sometimes it’s dried cherries or apricots. I even vary the amounts of cocoa a bit. And today I found a few tablespoons of orange marmalade in the fridge as I was preparing to make these and ended up mixing that in. I’ve always loved the combination of orange and chocolate and I’m definitely going to repeat that variation.
So if you have 20 minutes (that includes the baking time!) and some cocoa on hand and a few other pantry basics you can have your chocolate/cookie fix in no time. And you mix the dough in a sauce pan so clean up is fairly minimal too.
Fudgy Chocolate Cookies
–adapted from pastry chef, writer, food stylist and friend Ellen Jackson
You can mix these incredibly easy, fudgy cookies right in the saucepan. I add golden raisins or chopped dried apricots, cranberries or dried cherries or chopped crystalized ginger to these depending on what I have on hand. Sometimes I add a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade (a definite winner), in addition to golden raisins and sometimes I just add some jam. You can also add nuts and dried fruit.
1 cup all-purpose flour, spelt or whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
generous 1/3 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cups dried fruit or 1/3 cup jam (see headnote)
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, soda, and salt and set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars. Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until just mixed. Add any dried, fruit nuts, and/or jam. If adding jam just gently swirl it through the batter, don’t evenly mix it in or it will get a bit lost in the final cookies.
Drop by level tablespoons 1 inch apart onto baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Don’t over bake and err on the side of underdone, if you like moist, chewy cookies that is. They will firm up as they cool. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.