Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let's Bake Cookies!

The Inner Elf has been slow to surface this year, but this weekend I had the the urge to bake cookies. Going to sleep at night after reading recipes in Dorie Greenspan's iconic book Baking, From My Home to Yours certainly helped. So many cookie recipes, so little time.

Chockablock is the whimsical name that Dorie gave to these everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. Not only do they have molasses and oats, two of Sweetie's favorite ingredients for cookies, but they also allow me to throw in lots of dried fruits and nuts, which always appeals to me. Making them even more popular is a large dose of chocolate and some coconut. What's not to like?

This is my contribution to a great food event, Eat Christmas Cookies, at Food Blogga.

"Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without ... eating cookies," is a perfect reason to get out the baking sheets and the mixing bowls and bake some great cookies. These would make a great addition to the cookie platter or a delicious gift. I'm taking a box of these to a Christmas Party on Wednesday and I know they will be a hit.

Chockablock Cookies
Dorie Greenspan, from Baking From My Home to Yours

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening (I substituted 4 oz. unsweetened applesauce)
½ cup sugar (I used dark brown sugar here)
½ cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I mixed walnuts and pecans about half and half)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of diced apricot, dried pear, dried apple, plus some golden raisins and dried cranberries)
2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the apple sauce and mix well, about two minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another two minutes. Pour in the molasses and beat for 1 minute more.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the oats, then add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Toss in the nuts, fruit, chocolate chips and coconut and, turn the mixer on and off quickly a few times to incorporate.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared pans, leaving about 1 ½ inches between the mounds.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are golden and just about set. Remove the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies rest on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool to room temperature.

These cookies were so dark from the dark brown sugar and the molasses that it was a bit difficult to tell when they were done. They were moist and the nuts, fruit, chocolate and coconut were barely held together by the dough. The molasses flavor was strong when the dough was unbaked, but the fruits and nuts mellowed the molasses flavor when baked.


  1. Oh, Elle, I'm crazy over these cookies. They're fruity, chocolate-y, and coconut-y--all my favorite things! Thanks for submitting them to Eat Christmas Cookies. I can't wait to make them myself.-Susan

  2. Those look great, Dorie is always the go to gal. Thanks for telling me about the event...I will have to make a cookie for it.

  3. Elle, these are wonderful! Love all the ingredients you used - a great idea not only for Christmas but also for the entire year!

  4. There are so many wonderful Christmas cookie recipes popping up everywhere!! Although I don't usually make tons of cookies around Christmas like some do, I might make these because they sound so wonderful!

  5. You are right, what's not to like in these? There is something for everyone :)

  6. Susan,Thanks for creating the event! Gave me a good excuse to bake these :)

    Peabody, Yeah, Dorie is the bomb. Looking forward to your cookie.

    Patricia, These would be great any time.

    Deborah, They taste even better the second and third day...I'm amazed we had any left by the third day :)

    Cynthia, Truly a packed cookie.

  7. Anonymous10:37 AM

    My english bloke says "chockablock" haha. The cookies look "fab". A very Happy holiday wish to you and yours, Elle!

  8. I've made these and loved them, they just have so much stuff! While making them I commented they're more stuff than cookie and I was 100% ok with that!

  9. Maryann, Happiest of holidays to your and your bloke!

    Brilynn, These are another fab recipe from Dorie...she never misses. I love that they are mostly stuff...and the molasses.