My 6 year old nephew and his family had a hot chocolate and cookies stand this afternoon – after school to catch the rush (they live right across the street) – to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. They called it Cole’s Cocoa for Cancer.
(Does anyone even call it cocoa anymore? I suppose Cole’s Hot Chocolate for Cancer wouldn’t have the same ring.)
We went and hung out on the lawn, nibbling cookies and sipping cocoa.
Wait – does anyone (besides my dad) actually use cocoa to make hot cocoa? Or have we become too reliant on the packaged mix? While we’re on the subject, let me (ahem) pull out my soapbox for a minute to relay the ingredient list you’ll find in the instant powdered stuff – we’ll use Carnation Rich & Creamy Hot Chocolate as an example.
Ingredients: SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (MAY CONTAIN COCONUT, PALM KERNEL AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL), MODIFIED MILK INGREDIENTS, COCOA, CELLULOSE GUM, SALT, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SILICON DIOXIDE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, GUAR GUM, SODIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE
YUM! It just makes me want to curl up beside a roaring fire with a steaming mug of sodium aluminum silicate. Which goes so well with marshmallows.
This is in no way a commentary on Cole’s cocoa – my point is that real cocoa takes approximately two seconds longer to make – as much time as it takes to spoon some sugar or honey into your mug (the time you spent spooning in your cocoa powder equals the time it would have taken to spoon in the mix – get it?) so I really don’t think the instant stuff should have as big a market share as it does. Use about a tablespoon each of dark cocoa and sugar or honey to a cup of warm milk, et voilà. Since it looks like we’re on the verge of hot chocolate season, we should start out on the right foot, don’t you think?
Cole served his with mini marshmallows and baked hundreds of Chocolava cookies, half made gluten-free by swapping a gluten-free flour blend. These are great to make in (very) large batches, and fun for young kids to help with if you don’t mind your entire kitchen being coated with icing sugar. I know I’ve posted the recipe before, but it’s been over two (!!) years. Here it is for those of you who haven’t been hanging around that long. Or who may have missed that day.
These are rich, intensely chocolate, brownie-like cookies, rolled in icing sugar before they’re baked to create a crackled surface as they rise and spread in the oven. They’re also low fat.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large egg whites or 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
icing sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the butter and pulse or stir with a fork, pastry cutter or whisk until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.
Add eggs and vanilla and stir by hand just until the dough comes together. The dough will be fairly dry – it will seem at first that there isn’t enough moisture, but if you keep stirring, or get in there and use your fingers, eventually it will come together.
Place a few heaping spoonfuls of icing sugar into a shallow dish. Roll dough into 1 1/2” balls and roll the balls in icing sugar to coat. Place them about 2” apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until just set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Makes 20 cookies.
Per Cookie: 111 calories, 2.6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.1 g polyunsaturated fat), 21.3 g carbohydrates, 6.2 mg cholesterol, 1.8 g protein, 1.3 g fiber. 20% calories from fat