“Is there such thing as a spirit cookie? Like a spirit animal?” I asked myself out loud in the kitchen the other day.
Well, is there? I don’t have this answer, but I want to say YES. Similar to the question “if you were an animal, what animal would you be?” Or, “if you were a car, what kind of car would you be?” I think I might be an octopus. And I don’t know about the car. But I’ve been really thinking about the spirit cookie thing.
It was these Double Chocolate Chip Cookies that got me thinking about it; it’s been months since I baked cookies from scratch in our house. Mostly because of the cookie mix. It goes without saying that in the past year, in developing the mix, I’ve made more than my share of cookies and I got a bit “cookie-d out” for a while there. That said, it has been so so so much fun to watch all the ways that you out there are taking the mix and turning it into your own spirit cookies. I’m learning more and more about your “spirit cookies” all the time; some of you are mixing in bacon, others sticking with berries, coconut, and nuts. I heard about a version the other day that included Goldfish crackers (!) and another included Twizzlers (?) and it’s all good because these cookies are making you feel great and perform better. If spirit cookies are a thing, these are yours and they’re inspiring and fueling you and it’s so awesome!
So, here’s the thing; I poured a lot of spirit into making that cookie mix. Is my “spirit cookie” the cookie that can be literally anything? And if so, is this like saying that the zoo itself is my spirit animal? This all feels a bit too vague for me.
As I was scooping the deep black cookie dough onto the cookie sheet, an alternative perspective hit me. Your spirit animal isn’t actually the animal you like best, or the animal you spend the most time thinking about. (I find myself thinking about mountain lions a lot but there is no way that my spirit animal is a mountain lion, no matter how cool that would be.) If I have a spirit cookie, it’s gotta be something a bit unassuming. Something that packs a big punch, even when you don’t expect much from it. My spirit cookie would be an “all or nothing” proposition; there would be no pussy footing around with flavor, or texture. And you would absolutely need a glass of milk to chase it up. No so unlike these dark chocolate-chunked, soft in the middle, crispy on the sides rounds that pair equally well with an excellent cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk.
These cookies are sturdy enough for pockets, but decadent enough for dessert, and literally the better the quality of chocolate you use the better the cookies will be. I used 70% Ritual Chocolate bars made here in Colorado but use your favorite. Also, use the highest quality natural cocoa powder you can. Navitas Naturals makes a great one and it’s likely available at your best-stocked grocer. The recipe comes from the Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee Cookbook, a beautiful tome I bought just to keep the sensory joy of their shops + their coffees close to my heart, and one that I have only found to be more excellent the longer I’ve owned it + cooked from its pages.
I’m going to work slowly on getting back into the swing of cookies. And maybe I’ll find myself a spirit cookie in the end. It might be these double chocolate babies, but I have a few more batches to bake to be sure.
enjoy! – xoxo L
- 1 cup (4.9 oz/140g) all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (1.1oz/31g) natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons (2.5oz/70g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (7.1 oz/200g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3.5 ounces (100g) dark chocolate, 62%-70% cacao, coarsely chopped
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, checking for sticky butter spots, then mix on medium speed until the mixture gets lighter in color and becomes fluffier, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla extract until blended. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg mixture very slowly, in a steady stream, and mix until well incorporated and very smooth, just 30 seconds or so. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. (By scraping the bottom of the bowl so many times, you making sure that no little pockets of un-combined butter are hiding! Having butter pockets in your dough will make for not-very delicious or consistent cookies!)
- Next, add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add the chocolate and mix on low speed until the color is a uniform brown and no streaks of white remain.
- Now, using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl into an airtight container, or onto a piece of plastic wrap. Cover the container, or, if using plastic wrap, shape the dough into a rough disk, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for atlas 3 hours and up to 5 days.
- When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll 1/4 cup portions of the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 iced apart. Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are slightly firm to the touch and the surface is no longer glossy, rotating the pan midway through the baking time.
- Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking pan before removing.
- These cookies are best eaten when warm, shortly after they come out of the oven. However, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, the dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.