Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD: Chockablock Cookies

I know this happens to everyone who has baked along with TWD for any length of time. You get to the recipe of the week. You think "I would never in a zillion years make this on my own." Then you read the recipe more closely and think "there is no possible way that (x flavor plus y flavor plus z flavor) can be good together." Followed by "I will half the recipe and give these to A, and explain that I only made these for my baking club and would not have picked this recipe on my own, and then thank A for being such a good sport and eating them for me."

And then you taste the recipe and are amazed at how good it is, and equally amazed that you doubted Dorie for even a second, because you should really know better by now. Such was the case with this week's TWD pick, Chockablock Cookies, chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet (I can tell I'd like Mary just from her blog name!). The ingredient list for these cookies? Molasses, chocolate chips, oats, coconut, dried fruit. Even though I'm no longer a committed coconut hater, I was one for too long to ever feel genuine happiness when I see it on the ingredient list in a recipe. Same thing with molasses - I like, even love, several recipes I've made with molasses as a prominent ingredient, but I still can't feel the enthusiasm when it's time to bake with it. Chocolate chips are fine and dried fruit is fine, but not together. All in all, there just seemed to be way too much going on in these cookies for me to possibly like them.

I made them last Monday afternoon, before my photography class on Monday night [IMPORTANT NOTE: please do not expect my food pictures to improve just because I am taking a photography class. While I feel like my pictures of my children have indeed gotten a little better, food photography continues to stump me. You would think that a cookie would be easier to photograph than a two year old because the cookie doesn't run away from you, but you'd be wrong. To the many talented food photographers out there -- I bow to you].

Anyway, so I made these to bring to my photography class, the one group of people in my life on whom I had not yet tried to pawn off baked goods. Actually, that's not completely true, given that Heather, Amanda and I make up a full 1/3d of the class, and I've definitely pawned off baked goods on Heather and Amanda before. The class seemed to genuinely love these cookies (and seemed to be genuinely shocked that I baked cookies to share with the class. If only they knew! If they are not careful, I may collect their home addresses and start delivering baked goods to them weekly.)

When I was in law school, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I would sit in the back row of class and do the crossword puzzle. I've often wondered how today's law students manage to get through Corporations. It must be so much easier for the kids today, in the days of wireless internet and iPhones, than it was back in my day, when we had to hike uphill to class in the snow at 7 a.m. and rely on nothing but a tall cup of day-old coffee and the Cavalier Daily crossword puzzle to keep us awake. I got a taste of the life of the modern student while sitting in photography class last week, as the teacher was up in the front of the classroom explaining that "There are just three certainties in life. Death. Taxes. And an 18% gray image tone from a normally exposed simple subject."

To: Cathy and Heather
From: Amanda
Subject: Do y'all think

He looks like Albert Einstein tonight?

Sent from my iPhone


To: Amanda and Heather
From: Cathy
Subject: Re: Do y'all think

OMG yes. Totally thought that last week too. It's uncanny.

Sent from my iPhone


But the most gratifying electronic note I got passed during class on Monday was from Heather, who has almost two year old triplets and is pregnant with her fourth child, Penelope, due this summer. Heather sent me this message shortly after eating a chockablock cookie:


To: Cathy
From: Heather
Subject: Penelope likes the cookies

Sent from my iPhone


If these cookies are good enough for Penelope, they are good enough for me. I did not expect to enjoy these, but I loved them. If you would have told me two years ago that I would make, and savor, a molasses coconut oat chocolate raisin cookie, I would have thought you'd been smoking the coconut. I officially no longer trust my own judgment about whether a recipe is worth making or not.

Thanks for the excellent pick, Mary!


Leslie said...

Indeed, we had to fight sleep without any props! I'm glad Heather (& Penelope) enjoyed these cookies as much as you did.

discount coupons said...

I just love cookies and always enjoyed with eatable but first time I enjoy cookies with readable...really nice cookies.

Mary said...

Thanks for baking along with me this week. I loved your post and totally agree. I want to take a photography class too!

Sweet and Savory said...

I love your post. You have a way with words and with cookies.

chocolatechic said...

I want to take a photography class soooooooooo badly, but there are none to be had around here.

Your cookies look great.

Amanda said...

Hilarious. First, your food pics are FABULOUS!! The pics of these cookies and that bunny cake could be in a magazine- I'm serious. Second, the cookies themselves were also FABULOUS. I'm sure everyone in class would love to be on your baked goods delivery rotation. Third, I'm so glad I took the class with y'all. Fourth, I feel the same way about dark chocolate as you do about coconut. I would have never thought I would like dark chocolate and now I prefer it over milk chocolate. Weird. Lastly, I think you have really missed your calling. You are an amazing attorney, but I am not sure your drafting skills are put to full use in a 363 motion. Maybe you could start a business where people tell you things that happened to them and then you could add your hilarious commentary and blog for them. It may not be as thrilling as keeping the electricity on at a business that recently filed bankruptcy, but the world would be a better place with more of your blogging.

cindy said...

It was a fun cookie, I had 3 for breakfast. Fiber, nuts, fruit, eggs mut be ok! Tastes change, 20 years ago I would never have given them a chance! Now I like dates, dried fruit, walnuts etc. but still don't like raisins! Sorry, way to much info.

Heather said...

Those cookies were fabulous! If you ever make them again, Penelope will gladly take them off your hands! :)

Tia said...

cute story and great looking cookies! I'm like you, trying to pawn off baking wherever I can. LOL I thought I was the only one!

spike. said...

you made these cookies look delightful which certainly speaks to your photography skillz!

Kayte said...

Photography shots really wonderful, you are definitely on a roll there. Your cookies look perfect. Yep, perfect. No surprise they disappeared quickly around here, right? Right. I am thinking we should have tee-shirts reading "Trust Dorie" -- you in? JK.

Pamela said...

Now, I just want an iPhone more! Glad everyone liked the cookies, especially Penelope!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

First, you should try giving the cookie to the (running) two year old - might get a killer picture that way (although your cookie picture is fab this week).

Second, it was uphill BOTH ways to class at UVaLaw, right? And nearly always snowing. And we never drove or rode the bus, just walked. I don't remember the CD having crossword puzzles; we just paid attention to Bob Scott!

Third, if you don't even trust your own judgment in choosing a Dorie recipe, how can WE trust you to choose a recipe for us in June???

Last, I agree totally on your assessment of these cookies, from initial doubt (and former coconut hating tastes) to complete infatuation with these cookies.

Clivia said...

Your photos are lovely! Glad the cookies were enjoyed.

mike said...

"I don't like nuts". "I don't like dried fruit". "I don't like chewy cookies". "I hate molasses". . . that's why I don't usually make "kitchen sink" cookies - people are so finicky, like cats. I think that photograph of your cookies is wonderful - I'm seeing some depth of field, or is that lack of depth of field. I call it blurry background that makes the foreground so cool! Oh yeah, the cookies look delicioso!

Bridgett said...

Wow, your pics are gorgeous! This is one recipe I would have passed up but you are right, once you try them than you wonder why you thought to pass them up in the first place. Yours look wonderful.

Flourchild said...

They look good and hearty, Im sure they tasted wonderfully! I added trail mix to mine and loved them!

Mary Ann said...

You described my exact feelings in that first paragraph- so wierd how something that seems to be an obvious non-choice becomes a delight! Happens often, though.
I wish I could take a photography class- it would be fun.
I think your cookies look perfect.

Teanna said...

I need to take a photography class SO BADLY! Cathy, I know I've been gone FOREVER, but I LOVE the redesign! The blog looks phenomenal - along with your photos!

Di said...

No chance of reforming this coconut hater. =P These were quite good even without it, though. I hope you really enjoy your photography class.

TeaLady said...

Funny, I knew I wouldn't like these right off the bat. Too much fruit, not enuff cookie. Ah, well. Next one.

They do look good tho.

Marthe said...

For me there were too much oats in this cookie, loved the other add-ins though!

Meg said...

I totally agree...never would have made these and thought that they would taste terrible. I liked them and folks ate them up!

Lori Ann said...

I LOVED reading your post! It sounds like you're having a conversation with the reader - at least that's how I felt. =)
Your cookies look fabulous and I totally agree with your thinking - the ingredients did not sound like they paired well until after I ate them! =)
The cookies look terrific on the red dish - the red is a vibrant contrast with the cookies!
Totally funny text messages, gave me a chuckle!

Tracey said...

I suspect I would have learned a WHOLE lot more in law school had wireless internet not been available in every classroom! It's too bad I wasn't a student when the crossword was the only option :)

Your cookies look wonderful - great picture Cathy! So jealous of your photography class. I still need to look into that around here. I didn't expect to like these either. In fact, I purposely included mix-ins I don't like so I wouldn't be tempted by them. That said, given all the raves I'll probably make them again eventually with things I do like!

Jane Beall said...

I went to UVA law too!

jim said...




















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