From the National Confectioners’ Association Web site: “A recent survey revealed that 52% of U.S. adults said they like chocolate best. The second favorite flavor was a tie (at 12% each) between berry flavors and vanilla.”
Meanwhile, the International Ice Cream Association (Washington, D.C.) says America’s favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla (29%), with chocolate a distant second (8.9%).
So, my fellow Americans, which is it – chocolate, or vanilla?
Here at King Arthur Flour, our seat-of-the-pants surveys say that the two flavors are equally beloved. We run a sale on our jumbo-sized bottles of vanilla, the order phones go crazy. We take 20% off all chocolate, traffic on the site goes ballistic. You love vanilla; you love chocolate. So do we.
As a recipe developer, I find it much easier to create a recipe around chocolate than vanilla. Chocolate is so in-your-face, so “Here I am!” Vanilla is sweet, quiet, retiring; happy to lend a subtle under-note.
There’s no mistaking the star of chocolate cake, or a chocolate cookie. But vanilla? It’s often submerged beneath another attribute, as in “sugar cookie” or “yellow cake.”
So here it is, one of my favorite chocolate cookie recipes. Talk about in your face, these Double-Dark Mocha Drops are spiked with espresso and loaded with chips. Let’s go!
Mix together the following:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional
Beat until smooth.
Add 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla…
…and beat until thoroughly combined. The mixture will look grainy; that’s OK.
Add 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder or our All-Purpose Cocoa, a mixture of Dutch-process (for its lower acidity) and natural (for rich flavor).
Beat until smooth.
Add 1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour…
…and beat again. Notice how the dough is getting progressively stiffer.
Add the chips. Here we’re using cappuccino chips and cinnamon mini chips. Use semisweet, bittersweet, or whatever combination of flavors you like. Nuts are welcome, too. The goal is about 2 cups of add-ins.
Beat until the chips are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
These are smaller cookies, so you can get more of them on a baking sheet, especially if you stagger the rows slightly, as I’ve done here.
Tablespoon cookie scoop (on the left) vs. teaspoon cookie scoop: what’s the difference? Larger vs. smaller ball of dough, obviously…
…and the tablespoon scoop makes a 2 1/2” drop cookie, while the teaspoon scoop makes a 2” cookie.
I find myself using the teaspoon scoop more and more these days. A 2” cookie is just right when you want a few satisfying bites; and it’s a better size for kids, too.
OK, back to the action. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes; they’ll puff up slightly and look very soft in the center. Remove from the oven, and let them cool right on the pan; they’re too soft to move until they’re cool.
Notice how they settle a bit as they cool.
View from the top – where’s the milk?!
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