Monday, August 17, 2009


Last Wednesday, on my way home from Morehead City, I ran into an intense storm system and wound up in a ditch filled with water. My car was totaled because of the flooding, but I was unhurt. I'm currently driving a rental car, waiting for the insurance company to settle our claim. So this week, it's dessert all week. That makes sense, right?

Anne Overeboe, a County Fair Judge, produced this recipe, but I'm not sure if her cookies won a prize of if this is what she thinks it takes to win a prize. Whatever....these are some good cookies. They're not quite as chewy as I'd like, but they are slightly crispy with soft centers and a delicate crumb, nicely browned, not overly sweet, but sweet enough, with a hint of orange (my addition).

I added nuts though, because I do prefer nuts in my CCC. I also added creme de cacao, subbed some Stevia for part of the sugar and subbed Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend for the butter.

The chocolate I used contributed to the richness of this cookie -- a combination of Nestle Chocolatier 62% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate chips; Ghirdadelli Intense Dark Citrus Sunset 60% cacao bar; and Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips. The orange undertones in the Ghiradelli bar came through nicely without overpowering the cookie.

For nuts, I used a combo of toasted walnuts and pecans and salted Brazil nuts from a can of mixed nuts. The brazil nuts, when chopped, resemble macadamia nuts in appearance and flavor.
Usually, I like to mix cookies by hand -- this avoids overheating the butter which contributes to a flat cookie. But I decided to make the full recipe, and thought it was just too much batter to mix by hand. I carefully mixed this with my KA mixer, keeping it on low and not overmixing -- the cookies did not deflate after they cooled.
Blue Ribbon Fair Cookies
Adapted from Anne Overboe
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup low-protein flour (such as White Lily all-purpose or cake flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1-1/4 cups sugar (I used 1/2 cup sugar + 4-1/2 tsp. Stevia)
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter (I used Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. creme de cacao or other liqueur of choice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups dark chocolate chips or chunks, or combo (see my notes above)
1-1/4 cups toasted nuts of choice (my addition, omit if you don't like nuts)
Heat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment. Whisk flours well before measuring, then spoon lightly into measuring cup. In medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, soda and salt together till combined; set aside.
In large bowl, combine sugars and SB on low speed of mixer till smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, liqueur and vanilla and continue to beat on low till eggs are incorporated. Scrape bowl well. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed just till barely combined. Stir in chocolate and nuts using mixer or spatula by hand. Using a 2" diameter ice-cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets 2" apart.

Do not push balls down -- leave them as they come out of the scoop, nice and rounded and high.

Bake 12-14 minutes, or till cookies are light golden brown. Do not overbake. (Mine took 12 minutes, and I used a toothpick inserted in center to tell me if they were done.) They won't puff up in the oven; instead, they'll kind of melt down.
Cool cookies in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling. (This is supposed to help make them chewy, but they're not chewy.) This recipe is supposed to make 40 cookies, but I got 24 (3-1/2") cookies. I probably used more dough for each cookie, but I do like mine nicely big and fat -- make yours the way you like them. Either way, everyone is loving these. And when I eat one, I momentarily forget all about last week's disaster and the fact that I lost the car I loved (3-year old Honda Accord with 5,500 miles).


Karine said...

I am so sorry for you car accident!

Your cookies look very good.

Chow and Chatter said...

you poor thing it must have been scary take care and yep desserts all week you deserve it love the new look of your page LOL Rebecca

Valerina said...

I'm glad you are ok! Anything involving a car going off the road is quite jaring.

I love that you used Ghirdadelli bar in the recipe. That is a wonderful idea! The cookies look delicious, as does the dough. :)

Denise said...

Judy, I love your header and the cookies look soooo good.

Kathy said...

I'm glad you are okay & I love the new look!

Barbara Bakes said...

Sorry to hear about your accident - so scary! The cookies look great!

Linda said...

Glad you're okay!....and these cookies look scrumptious!

Reeni♥ said...

That's awful, Judy!! I'm so glad your OK!! I understand why it's dessert week - these cookies look scrumptious. Your new look is great!!!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm so sorry about your car accident. I would have been scared to death. You deserve all of the chocolate you can eat after that. Very glad to hear you are okay though.

Donna-FFW said...

So glad to hear you are OK..

Your cookies sound fantastic, I always love when you specify the types of chocolate..

Your new blog look is quite lovely.

Juliana said...

I am sorry to hear about the accident, but happy to hear that you are well and baking :-) This cookies look delicious...nice pictures as well.

Coleen's Recipes said...

So relieved to hear that you are OK. The cookies look mouth watering. I really liked the "in the oven" photo. It reminded me of my kids watching through the oven glass and waiting for cookies...a sweet memory.

Debbie said...

Wow Judy, I'm glad you were not hurt. The cookies look terrific. Love your additions of the citrus chocolate....sounds great!

Katrina said...

Scary thing about your car troubles. Glad you are okay.
The cookies look fabulous! Yes, totally a good reason to have all treats week! ;)

Kerstin said...

Love your new blog layout! I'm glad you're ok and hope your car gets fixed soon. Your cookies look super delicious and comforting!