The last few days have been a roller coaster ride for me.
The biggest positive of the week …
Everything Pie is written!! Going in I knew writing a book would be a challenge, but it was more difficult than I expected. The rewards of this experience are numerous, but the biggest lessons I take away from it are that I am more dedicated, disciplined, and creative than I ever thought. The big news now is that the publisher has asked me to do the photography for the book. I will be photographing 15 to 20 of the pies for a modest little color insert. I am so excited and ready to get started!
Now for the negative …
My Great Aunt Ruby is sick and in the hospital. Her health has not been great for the last few years, and a few days ago she had an episode that required emergency care. Growing up I would spend my summers with her and my grandmother, and they are some of the best times of my childhood. She is an amazing cook, her fried chicken is the stuff of legend, so it is safe to say some of my fondest food memories come from her 1950’s era mint green and black kitchen. I love her very much, and if you are so inclined please send some good thoughts and prayers her way.
Ruby is fond of coconut. She always had a German Chocolate Cake in her aluminum cake box and Martha Washington candy for the holidays. You see, when she served something with coconut it inevitably included chocolate. With that in mind I set about making some cookies. These have intense chocolate flavor from the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate chunks. The coconut element comes in the form of toasted, unsweetened coconut. The toasted coconut adds a nutty finish to the cookies and oddly cuts some of the richness. If you can not find unsweetened you can use regular sweetened, but reduce the sugar by a couple of tablespoons. I think Ruby would approve of these cookies, and when she is ready for a visit I plan to take her some.
Double Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies Yield 4 dozen
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut (if using sweetened decrease the white sugar to 3 tablespoons)
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, fridge cold
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces chocolate chunks
Heat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spread the coconut evenly on one of the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the coconut is golden brown and fragrant. Cool to room temperature.
Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl of a double boiler. Heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until creamy then add the egg and mix until well blended.
Add the melted chocolate and mix until completely incorporated, then add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Mix well then add chocolate chunks and toasted coconut and mix until evenly combined.
Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets by the rounded tablespoon. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until puffed all over and set at the edges. Cool on the pan for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.