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Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate has been around for centuries now. Chocolate is often called the food of the gods. There is a reason it is called that. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which comes from the tree Theobroma Cacao. Theobroma, in history, is also called the food of the gods.
For the longest time, it was mostly had like a drink.

It is popular confection today and is a flavor used in many other baked goods and foods. Today chocolate consumption in the world is roughly $20 billion annually. There are so many types of chocolates today, gourmet, handmade, bars, chips, cooking chocolate – all catering to the immense market there is for chocolate.

Chocolate all over the world is manufactured from cocoa beans that are only grown in Africa. Each region that specializes in chocolate making has added its own nuance to chocolate making. Europeans are known for their high grade and tasty handmade chocolates. But Hershey from America is known for its milk process chocolate. It has a distinctive taste only found in American milk chocolate.

History textbooks are replete with examples of kings using chocolate as an aphrodisiac. The earliest use of cacao dates back to 1100 BC. Cacao beans were used as a treatment for diarrhea and fatigue. The beans were used as currency too.  The history of chocolate is just as rich as chocolate itself. The name chocolate comes from Aztecs and is based on the word ‘cacahuatl’ or ‘xocolatl’ which means bitter drink.  The Spaniards introduced the world to it and slowly each European nation found a niche that they specialized in. The Swiss created milk chocolate. Belgium created pralines. Italy created beautiful cocoa. It was also in Europe that the bitter drink was seasoned with milk, sugar and vanilla. This became a luxury for the Europeans. It was finally Christopher Columbus who brought this luxury to America. Today chocolate is used in many different products and confections. It is quite an inescapable part of modern food, including cookies.

Chocolate cookies are yet another way of showcasing the grandness of chocolate. Double chocolate, triple chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, these are just some of the different types of chocolate cookies that you can make.

Chocolate cookies are easy cookies to make, especially the easy, soft and chewy variety.
2 ½ cups butter
4 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract/ vanilla essence
4 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Cream together sugar and butter until it is a light and fluffy mixture.
Beat each egg in at a time, till well mixed.
Add the vanilla extract.
Sift in the cocoa, salt and flour and fold it into the butter sugar mixture.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough onto greased baking sheets and bake it till baked, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Hot chocolate cookies with milk are a favorite after-school snack. Chocolate cookies can be made with melted chocolate or with cocoa or even both, which gives a wider depth of flavor. These chocolate cookies can be filled with peanut butter or studded with white chocolate chips or raisins or nuts. Chocolate cookies can be decorated with powdered sugar or with cocoa powder. They can be drop cookies or rolled cookies, iced cookies or just baked cookies. You can do so much with them to have fun.

The chocolate chip cookies are one of the most popular chocolate cookies that are made and sold in the US. Did you know the firsts chocolate chip was accidentally created in the US? It was created by Ruth Wakefield. She broke chocolate in to chunks and added it to the batter hoping it would melt into the batter and create chocolate cookies. But that did not happen and the classic chocolate chip was born. 

Chocolate chip cookies, like chocolate cookies, also lend themselves to many variations. You can add fruits like bananas, coffee; different nuts like peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pecans, walnut; white chocolate chips; berries like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries; oranges, praline and nougat. You can even make them at home as it is easy to make homemade chocolate cookies.

Let’s try one version that has nuts as well.
3 cups all purpose floor
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups quick cooking oats
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups coarsely chopped nuts - you can use a combination of nuts or any one type

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda in one bowl.
Cream the butters and sugars till fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, till well-mixed.
Add the flour mixture.
Then stir in the oats, chocolate, nuts, one at a time. Fold them in gently.
Drop this mixture in dollops on a prepared baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove and cool completely.

Did you know you can make chocolate cookies with a cake mix?  You just need to add extra eggs and whichever additions you would like in your chocolate cookies to the cake mix. Then mix it up like a cookie batter and make your chocolate cookies. You can even add pumpkin puree to the cookie batter to make the cookies healthier. You can also replace the all purpose or self rising flour with whole wheat flour and even oats, to make the chocolate cookies healthier.
Chocolate cookies have come a long way from the addition of mere cocoa to the batter. Today making a chocolate cookie has become a long list of options. You can make cookies with different flours, different sugars, different chocolate, different toppings and of course many different types of icing. The basic recipe is just a guide which you can use to form your own best and easy chocolate cookie recipe.

Submitted on January 16, 2014