Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's Chocolate Cookies


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's Chocolate Cookies 
Source: Maida Heatter's Cookies (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 17.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American writer who wrote novels and short stories based on her life in rural Florida. She won the Pulitzer Prize for "The Yearling" in 1939. In 1942, she published the autobiographical "Cross Creek" (it was made into a movie starring Mary Steenbergen in 1983). Rawlings was also an avid cook and "Cross Creek Cookery" (published the same year) is a book that Maida Heatter often mentions.

While traveling through Cross Creek, Maida and her husband stopped at a gas station and purchased some homemade brownies that the owner's wife had made. He said the recipe came from Rawlings, who his mother-in-law had worked for. The brownies were actually drop cookies and Maida found the recipe in "Cross Creek Cookery". She omitted the baking powder and added the coffee (the gas station owner's wife had added the chocolate morsels.

The cookies are chewy and very chocolate-y. And best of all, they are very easy to make.

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Scant 2 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 cup boiling water
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups walnuts, broken into large pieces
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat the oven to 350 and cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour and salt and set aside.

Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water. Add the chocolate, place over low heat, and stir until smooth.

In a mixer bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the vanilla and then gradually add the sugar, beating until mixed. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well (it is okay if the mixture is still warm).

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in well. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until mixed.

Stir in the raisins, nuts and chocolate morsels.

Place tablespoons of the mixture on the parchment paper about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes, reversing the pans halfway through baking. The cookies are done when they barely spring back when pressed. Do not overbake. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The recipe makes 25 large cookies (you can make smaller ones if desired). Store in an airtight container. They keep well.

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