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Tiny bites of happiness

by christina posted May 23, 2012 category baking, christina

It was one of those days.

One of those impossibly long days where 5pm seems like it will never, ever, ever come. Where a long afternoon combined with an unkind comment makes your eyes smart with tears and you paint on a wobbly smile and sternly tell yourself not to cry. But, the lump in your throat will not disappear until you march yourself into the bathroom, click the stall closed, take a deep breath, count to ten, and by one…two…you are crying. Ugly crying, the kind where if someone saw you up close or even from afar, they’d be seriously concerned because you more resemble a monkey than a human. Yup, we’ve all been there.

But while you’re sitting there, shredding the toilet paper into tiny pieces, and counting the dirty ceiling tiles, you start to think about cookies. Because sometimes, when you’re having one of those days, cookies just seem to be the answer.

And then, you remember this recipe! The one that promises deep chocolate flavor encased in a chewy, confectioner’s sugar-coated cookie. How can a chewy, dense texture be possible, you wonder, when the base is whipped egg whites?  And there is no flour whatsoever? And all of a sudden, your mind is wrapped up in a world of chocolate chips and chemistry, and you realize you’ve stopped crying. And now you’re hungry.

These cookies are divine. After my bathroom escapade, I went home and baked. I grabbed one, hot out of the oven, and shoved it into my chocolate-desperate mouth. It was crispy on the outside, but similar to a melted chocolate chip in the middle. As they cool, they solidify into a dense chocolate cookie, wrapped in a delicate layer of meringue, dusted with powdered sugar.

They can make even the worst day feel a little better, piled on a flowery plate and served with a cold glass of milk.

And if you aren’t yet convinced that these are special cookies, here’s another tribute to their culinary greatness.

I brought them along on a recent camping trip and decided to give a few to the “camp hosts”. They were a retired couple and I told Zach, I can just tell they need a few cookies. The next morning, Mr. Camp Host came whipping up to our campsite as fast as his golf cart would take him, wearing an ear-to-ear smile as a hello. He proclaimed, Those were the BEST cookies we have EVER had! Seriously! They WERE!

We exchanged BFF necklaces right then and there.

And, that’s that. These cookies do a lot of good. They have the power to lift bluesy spirits, they help with making friends at campgrounds, they might even help solve some of life’s deep mysteries, simply by being tiny morsels of goodness amidst great conversations.

So, with that said, you should dust off your KitchenAid whisk or your hand mixer and start whipping some egg whites. You don’t want to miss out on the tiny bites of happiness these cookies can bring.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Adapted just slightly from Epicurious

Ingredients
Parchment paper or a silicone mat
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided (The better the chocolate, the better they’ll taste. I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao, but you could also use semi-sweet)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave, stirring once every 30 seconds, 1 1/2-2 minutes total. Cool slightly.

Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks; gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. (Flip the whisk over and see if the peak stays up.)  Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue (egg white mixture.) Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff) and put in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes (dough will be a bit gooey, so this will help lessen the mess later.)

Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball (this can get a little messy), then roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and tops crack,  10-12 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack; cool.

Best served with a cold glass of milk and Adele’s 21 playing in the background.

52 Responses to Tiny bites of happiness

  1. Christina,

    I am so so so excited to try this recipe this afternoon. Your writing style and honesty are so refreshing and truly a blessing. Thank you for opening your heart to so many people via this blog.

    • Katie, let me know how they turn out for you :) Hope you are well.

      • Gotta say, I’ve read and re-read your article and I am left sccrathing my head. You’re way ahead of the debate and way ahead of the available information for 99% of us plebs. What matters about the cap and trade debate, or a carbon tax, to me? Obviously that answer is what is it going to cost me?You are making a huge leap of faith with your post, and that is the workability of any proposal. What we need before any debate about the merits of Plan A or Plan B is a framework under which political interference won’t influence how any GHG rollout is implemented. Intuitively, as an Albertan, I think I understand that there is very good chance that a centrist government would find a way to exempt industry in a region that has the highest number of ridings from any potentially punitive legislation. (HINT think auto industry and Kyoto.)GHG legislation will NEVER work without equitable distribution. Screw over one part of a skeptical populace and it degrades into an us against them cat fight, with opportunistic politicians taking sides in an effort to garner support from wherever they can get it.

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    • A message from David to Daddy Ronald and Mommy DaiseDaddy paslee don’t look so sadMommy paslee don’t cryCause I am in the arms of Jesusand He sings me lullabies.Please try not to question GodDon’t think He is unkindDon’t think he sent me to youAnd then he changed his mind.You see, I am a special ChildAnd I am needed up aboveI’m the special gift you gave to himThe product of your love.I’ll always be there with youAnd watch the sky at nightFind the brightest star that’s gleamingThat’s my halo shining bright.You’ll se me in the morning frostThat mists your windowpaneThat’s me, in the summer showersI’ll be dancing in the rain.When you feel a gentle breezeFrom a gentle wind that blowsThat’s me! I’ll be therePlanting a kiss upon your nose.When you see a child playingAnd your heart feels a little tugThat’s me! I’ll be thereGiving your heart a hug.So, Daddy paslee don’t look so sadMommy don’t you cryI’m in the arms of JesusAnd He sings me lullabies.

  2. They were a hit! My friends wanted to take the leftovers home :)

  3. Okay, I’m going to have to try this recipe to see how it compares to my all-time favorite chocolate crinkle recipe: http://www.cannellevanille.com/2008/11/anita-chus-field-guide-to-cookies.html. Thanks for the challenge :)

    • YUM. I LOVE chocolate crinkles; I’m going to have to try yours :) These cookies aren’t chewy like chocolate crinkles but they’re melty and delicious on the inside!

      • So after reading Rick’s cmoment I got interested to see what the Liberal and Conservative GHG plans where and this is what I found.LIBERALTARGET:Liberals have committed to a long-term greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. (Page 48 of liberal platform)METHOD:-“A Liberal government will establish a cap-and-trade system – a mechanism that sets a ceiling on the total amount of permissible greenhouse gas emissions by large industrial facilities, and then auctions off emission permits to companies who can trade them amongst themselves to remain compliant under the law.”(Page 49 of liberal platform)Green Renovation Tax Credit means that you can qualify for a tax credit of up to $13,500 for renovations to green your home. (p.46)-Renewable Power Production Incentive (RPPI) (p.47)…..an investment of $1 billion in RPPI over the coming years will increase Canada’s renewable energy mix to 10 percent of our total electricity output by 2017-Oil sands development must become more sustainable as this major resource continues to con- tribute to Canada’s prosperity. Increase the rigour with which the federal government exercises its regulatory responsibilities relevant to oil sands development;(p47)CONSERVATIVETARGET:aligned our climate-change targets with those of the Obama Administration – our goal is a 17-percent reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020;…..established the Clean Energy Dialogue between Canada and the United States, to enhance collaboration on reducing greenhouse gases and combating climate change; (page 41 of conservative platform)METHOD:-We will support economically viable clean energy projects that will assist regions and provinces in the replacement of fossil fuel with renewable fuel sources. (p.42)-ecoENERGY RETROFIT-HOMES PROGRAM ($5000)I am going into this election concerned about environmental policy and GHG targets. I am not so concerned about the targets as the Liberals have picked a Kyoto accord target and the Conservatives have published a US target. Either way it’s a target in the not so near future and a lot can change between now and then. So….they both have a target, Great. Next question how are we going to get from the here and now to that target. Conservatives method is to align with US on whatever they do, and offer subsidies to clean energy projects along with home retrofit programs. In my opinion, a little weak to say we will just follow the US, especially if any thought of GHG policy in the states has been scrapped till after elections and their economy pulls itself back together. In my mind, that pulls a conservative GHG policy off the table.Liberals plan is seemingly a lot more detailed with specifics. So I think they have a better method for achieving a target then the conservatives. The liberals differ as they are not waiting for Obama admin to put forward a GHG policy.I would like to make clear that you can have a cap & trade like liberals propose without it affecting the economy, just give all the permits away every year….free. So when I hear the argument that we will effectively kill our manufacturing economy at the start of a C&T program I have a little chuckle. Obviously it will do nothing for ghg reductions….(will it? i.e. signaling?), but it’s a start. Overall, a federal GHG policy is going to be messy when considering provincial vs. federal powers.

      • Hi Hunter,Thank you for coming tgourhh and looking around our web site. I,m so glad you enjoyedthe Be Happy clip. Thanks for giving your feedback and leaving a comment .Regards Jim.

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  27. nothing about what they will do in the oil and gas sector. Remember, the CPC iilantily floated a regulation that would require all new oil sands plants to deploy CCS after 2016. The NDP is certainly at one end of the spectrum, with a policy that would draw billions of dollars in revenue from fossil fuel industries and use it to fund renewable energy. Libs are somewhere in the middle, with an aggressive approach, but a commitment to cleaner oilsands. Hopefully we can get to a point of having a sane discussion about these policies, which are each going to cost 10s of billions of dollars. There is potential damage both from parties all playing the target game, committing to targets which would each lead to us having the most stringent carbon policy in the world. I hope we can get to a discussion of what we can do, and how to do it. I’m not optimisitc.Andrew

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