Chocolatte and Chocolate – or Chunks and Chips

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Our Siamese cat Chocolatte – who is a Chunk – hanging out in our Japanese maple pot

I’ve been obsessing about our cats this week; Andy – in Andy’s Corner – is thinking about flies.

Two years ago we adopted a tiny kitten, whom we named “Chocolatte” – but we shorten to  “Choco.” We thought that our name was SO clever: a Chocolate Point Siamese named Chocolatte.  Think about it: creamy latte-colored body and chocolate coffee-colored points.  But then he matured  – and became a Seal Point with almost black, not chocolate, markings.  Oh well.

There’s something about Siamese.  You either really love ’em or you really hate ’em.  Yes, they’re often arrogant and difficult and demanding – more so than the average Joe Schmoe cat.  Nonetheless, we fall into the the really love ’em category.  While we’ve talked (incessantly?) about our Aussie(s), we haven’t said much about our history of Siamese, starting out with Zero, whom we have affectionately dubbed “The Prince of Cats.”  We acquired Zero at the pound in Baton Rouge, having left Raggedy to live with my Aunt Helen after our move from Fort Collins to Baton Rouge.  When our precocious little daughter asked how old the kitten was, we responded “not even one yet.”  And she said, “So he’s zero!”

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Zero – the Prince of Cats – and the Princess

After Zero came Jake.  An aside: Jake’s companion was our dog Elwood.  Catch the blues music/movie-related cleverness?

Jake turned out to be a Himalayan, filled with Persian moodiness and lacking the Siamese quirkiness; he didn’t love us any more than we loved him.  But when we sold our home in Baton Rouge to move to California, the new homeowners kept him and loved him – so much that after he passed away his ashes rested on their fireplace mantle.

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Jake – of Jake & Elwood fame

Then there was Trace, a purebred (maybe) Blue Point.  Not too bright but incredibly lovable.  Trace, the name, came from the bit of white he had on his back feet.  That – and the fact that we had a bit of a name-theme going for our cats.  We’d had Zero, then a non-Siamese named Minus, and finally Trace.  We over-emote about pet names.

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Trace – with one of our Aussies and one of our grandsons

The super-nice Humane Society of Sonoma County – in Santa Rosa – was where we found our next Siamese, Ono Moore.  They had dubbed her “Feisty,” which should have alerted us to some personality shortcomings.  We still have her; she’s feisty and fussy, a little unstable and a little mean; we adore her.  Plus, she’s drop-dead gorgeous – with her tabby points.

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Ono’s only true love is Oakley, the Aussie

Which brings us back to chocolate – and Chocolatte, whose feral Siamese father lived near the fire station in Boyes Hot Springs, just a few miles down the road from us.  Choco and his tabby mother ended up at Pets Lifeline in Sonoma and we ended up with him. 🙂

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Chocolatte – as a kitten and before we knew he was a Seal Point – in another Japanese maple pot

That’s the Chocolatte story.  Even if you’re not fond of Siamese, chances are good that you’re fond of chocolate.  And maybe REALLY fond of chocolate chunk or chip cookies.  After a heated family/friends discussion as to which was THE best amongst these three favorites, we decided to offer up all three recipes without ranking but with our personal picks.  And, don’t forget that our Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cake and the World Peace Cookies also make delicious use of chocolate chips.

 

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The  original Toll House Chocolate Crunch (now Chips) recipe

It’s interesting to see the riffs on this original recipe.  Reduce sugar.  Reduce flour, add oats.  Take out egg and create a shortbread.  Add coconut – or raisins or dried cherries.

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Our Grandsons’ Favorite:  Ultimate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

If I want have a special treat for Moss and Silas, our grandsons, when they visit or when we visit them, a sack of these Ultimate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies will do the trick.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

  • Servings: Makes about 60 cookies
  • Print

Recipe adapted from Sara Deseran’s Picnics cookbook.

  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 c butter (2 sticks butter), softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • One 12 oz package chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.  In another bowl, add the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamy.  Gradually add the dry ingredients and combine well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

For each cookie, spoon a heaping tablespoon of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or a parchment lined cookie sheet), spreading them a few inches apart.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies have browned on the edges.  Remove to a wire rack.  Repeat until all of the cookies are baked.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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My favorite: Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

Maybe I like these Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies best because they’re a little less heavy on the chocolate than most.  Or maybe it’s because I love shortbread.

Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: about 24 cookies
  • Print

Recipe adapted from the multitudes of adaptations of Alison Roman’s recipe from her Dining In cookbook

  • 1 c plus 2 T (or 2 1/4 sticks) butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped – but into small chunks, not thin shards
  • 1 egg, beaten (caution: this isn’t going into the dough!  It’s a wash for the cookie dough roll)
  • Demerara sugar (or brown sugar, if that’s all you’ve got)
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)

With an electric mixer – or with a food processor – blend the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla, until it’s light and fluffy.

Gradually add the flour and then stir in the chocolate chunks.

Divide the dough in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap;  fold the plastic wrap over to cover the dough.  Then roll the dough into a log about 2″ in diameter.  Chill for at least 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Brush the outside of the logs lavishly with the egg wash and then roll the logs in the demerara sugar.  This is going to give the cookies a nice crispy edge, so be sure to do it.

Slice each log into about 1/2″ thick rounds.  Place them on the baking sheet, about 1″ apart.  Sprinkle (lightly) with sea salt if you wish.  Bake until the edges begin to brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.  The cookies, once baked, will keep beautifully for 5 days, and, of course, will freeze well too.  Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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Andy and our neighbor’s favorite – and a Best of the Besties: Eileen’s Yummy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My CC friend, Eileen, who lives near Skagit Bay in the Pacific Northwest contributed another winner chocolate chip recipe….a favorite in the ‘hood.

Eileen's Yummy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Makes 24-30 cookies
  • Print

Of course, you can double this easily, but this is great for those days when large numbers aren’t needed…..like most every day!

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • splash of almond extract (optional)
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 single-serving packet Instant Brown Sugar Maple Oatmeal (about 1/3 c or 40 g; I used Nature’s Path Organic)
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c shredded or angel flake coconut
  • 2/3 c -1 c chocolate chips (about 1/2 of a 12 oz package)
  • 1/2 c chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, whatever)
  • a handful of raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the butter, egg, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until well blended (a food processor works well).

Mix the flour, Instant Oatmeal, soda, and salt until combined well (a whisk is handy).  Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then add the coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts and mix well.

Drop heaping teaspoonfuls (or pecan sized) pieces of dough onto parchment lined or ungreased baking sheets.  Space the cookies about 2″ apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

Recipe brought to you by Eileen near Skagit Bay, Washington and BigLittleMeals.com.

 

6 Comments

  1. Bob Carleton says:

    Made some 3-ingredient shortbread cookies a bit ago with favorable results… took most to the zoo for the (human) vultures in the education barn. Will have to replicate the experience and add chocolate. Chocolate is one of those items (like Hatch Green Chili) that can be used to enhance just about anything on the menu.

    We acquired a cat, long ago and far away, as rather new homeowners in Denver. Sitting on the sofa with the little critter that first evening we were trying to decide on a name… when Johnny Carson came on with his first guest, Andy Warhol. Andy brought his newest “super star” with him: Viva! Great name for a cat!

    Like

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