Friday, November 30, 2007

Me and Martha, tight, for Now

Double Chocolate Cookies

“So there you have it, Martha and I may see a friendship in the near future after all. I might have to test another disaster-free recipe from her to make that call…”
OCTOBER 2007


I never thought the day would come; after spouting some incredibly tepid reviews of Miss Martha’s recipes, who would have thought that a recipe for chocolate cookies could bring her back into the circle of trust?

Double Chocolate Cookies

I know, I know, I’ve been a bit hard on Martha, but when you sport a holier than thou persona, or at least espouse an image of perfection, then there are certain things you must live up to. Like perhaps having recipes that work? Or at least recipes that have even the slightest inkling of success. I have encountered one too many a Martha recipe that was an inch short of rivalling the disaster that was the Titanic. And it seems that I'm not alone in my sentiments.

I don't want to be the one that cries foul upon the hallowed empire of Miss Martha but it appears that not only are her Internet recipes riddled with errors and missing information, but many others have also testified about their lack of success with many of her cookbook recipes, too many in fact.
Is a foolproof recipe too much to ask?

Double Chocolate Cookies

Am I being too harsh? After all, isn't Martha merely human? Well, that's probably debatable and could probably fill another post but one thing I can say is that I've found another one of her recipes that do indeed work. Eureka! I think I can probably even dedicate the remaining lifespan of this blog to finding Martha' recipes that do and don't work. It's almost addictive, like a game of roulette; since all her recipes are such a gamble, will I win or will I lose?

Well this time I can gladly say that it was a win for all. For Martha and for me, and it looks like this fractured relationship that is often times on the rocks than on steady ground could be on the mend. For now, Martha and I are tight. But just like a game of roulette can go awry at the throw of a die, you never know, Martha and I could be on the outs again.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Just like a pair of tempestuous lovers, our roller-coaster ride through her recipe bank is as tumultuous as any affair. Who knows how long I'll stick around. All I can say is I'm addicted to the gamble that are her recipes. But I guess that's enough about what I think of Martha and more about what I think of these cookies. All I can say is that, why didn't I come across these cookies earlier? Had I chanced upon them before my opinion of Martha could have been a lot different.

If this was the first recipe I came across, I wouldn't have been so irate about all the consequent bad ones I had to endure as this would have provided a sufficient buffer. But alas this is probably the eighth Martha-recipe I have attempted and so far only the second success, the first one of course were the the Carrot Cupcakes I blogged about earlier.

Double Chocolate Cookies

However, that said, who would have thought that what I stated a mere month ago would be coming to pass. There you have it, I road tested another Martha recipe and surprisingly it worked. These double chocolate cookies, are beyond good. If you like your cookies soft and chewy then this one is for you. And with the little milk chocolate bits inside, every bite has a meltingly pleasant surprise. Just crisp enough on the edges and gooey in the centre, these cookies are the perfect remedy for when you're in need of a pick me up.

Your man (or woman) may have abandoned you, you may have lost your job, perhaps your car has been towed away and impounded, and your dog could be in a cast after being run over by a truck, but if you have these cookies, you will get a little perspective and know that things could be worse.

And with Christmas just around the corner, what perfect way to bestow some Christmas cheer than with some chocolate love. Tie a festive ribbon around a stack of cookies and voila an instant present to please even the biggest Scrooge.

NOTE: Martha's original recipe called only for milk chocolate. I decided to include bittersweet and milk chocolate.

Double Chocolate Cookies
adapted from this recipe
makes about 3 dozen

Double Chocolate Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp coarse salt
110g bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao)
110g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
110g cup unsalted butter
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°C degrees.
Whisk together flour, cocoa pow
der, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Melt bittersweet chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; let cool slightly.
Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl and mix until combined.
Gradually fold in the flour in two batches until just incorporated.
Fold in chocolate chunks.
Using a 1½-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces crack, about 15 minutes (cookies should be soft).
Let cool on parchment on wire racks.

NOTE: If needed cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Food+Blogga+Cookie+Logo.jpg If you want a piece of some cookie making action then head over to Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookie event. And to sweeten the deal, if you participate you could be in the running to win a fantastic cookbook. Click on the link to check out all the details!

RELATED POSTS:
Martha, not what she's cracked up to be
Second Chance For Miss Martha

41 comments:

AgnesMo said...

Hi, I love your blog. I have similar issues with Martha's recipes. Don't bother with the vanilla chocolate wafer cookies. ugh, like little bites of cardboard.
The pumpkin cupcakes though, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Dana said...

Hahahaha, this post made me laugh! Between this and your last Martha post...I just might have to give her another chance! Most of my experiences have been like the "Titanic" ones you mentioned... But these look *too* good not to try!

Olivia said...

Lovely. :)

lyndea said...

hi jen!honestly....I think I saw god in these cookies. seriously.;)

Jenn said...

Those cookies look great - I love the pink ribbon with the dark brown. I actually just made some Martha cookies today.. I will post them on my blog later today!

Aimée said...

What could be better than chocolate cookies? Double chocolate! Looks like these cookies are good enough to mend even the most messed-up friendship. Glad you and Martha are back in the saddle--I mean, kitchen, again.

Mandy said...

nice post, I like how you described the cookies. Made me want to bake one batch now! BTW, also love the ribbon. :D

Cheryl said...

I'm glad to see that you and Martha are making amends. I can see why this cookie is working for you. The dark color is just gorgeous.

Jerry said...

JenJen, my boyfriend will love me for making these. Thanks for the recipe.

aria said...

chocolaty goodness alright, you can say that again and again. your presentation is stunning as per usual :)

JEP said...

Amazing photos!

Vida said...

These look fabulous, and the red just sets them off so nicely, I feel Christmas coming on... Vida x

Jennifer said...

These cookies look so decadent and delicious! Martha and I have had a love/hate relationship for many years. Right now, we're pals, especially since I got her Baking Handbook. I've figured out that I like her recipes, but not her show. As long as I keep those separate, we're good.

Kevin said...

Nice photos! Great looking cookies! They look so chocolaty.

Monique said...

Wow, these choco cookies look sooo chocolatey! Really want to try them out!

Eva said...

These cookies are picture-perfect, indeed! Generally, I'm not much of a cookie person but now christmas is getting closer and that's the only time of the year when I make cookies. Maybe they'll travel to NZ with me...

It's too bad but I again can't go to the Growers' Market this Sat. However, I hope to go in January - maybe you, too?

Mac said...

What a beauty seems these cookies!!!
Just a pair of advices: what do you think about using muscovado sugar instead of caster sugar? And to add a bit of vanilla?
Thanks, ciao

Katie said...

Yummy! They look delicious, so dark and chewy. I'm surprised you keep giving Martha another chance, but I like reading about the results

Suzana said...

Those cookies are delightful just to watch - and that from a non-chocoholic like me!

Glad you and Martha are back in good terms for the moment... but I still don't trust her recipes.

Great photos - as usual! Lovely, lovely ribbon.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jenjen, I tagged this recipe early this week and was looking forward to trying it - after seeing your cookies, I'm even more "desperate" to bake these! :)

Katia said...

The cookies are lovely and look delicious as well. As for Martha...I think she is a genius, a marketing genius! Her recipes- I'm with you, hit or miss. If I didn't know what I already know about baking I don't think they would work very well.

JennyCash said...

These look fantastic. Will try today!

marias23 said...

Gad, that looks so good that I'm definitely going to try out the recipe this weekend! I totally feel the same way you do about Martha most of the time. I wish I could wipe that smug smile off her face. I mean, if I had a few hundred people help prep, clean and design stuff, I'd have that smug smile too.

But anyhoo, I still have to hand it to Martha for creating such a uniquitous empire. Hmmm, I think I'm just jealous of her...

Hillary said...

Those cookies look fantttttasticccccccc. And I love this post, haha. Oh Martha!

VeggieGirl said...

how wonderful that you've been able to make amends with good ol' Martha! I agree that, due to her persona and reputation, all of her recipes SHOULD come out picture-perfect; however, this can't always be the case. c'est la vie. your rendition of her Double Chocolate Cookies (with the addition of bittersweet chocolate) look positively stunning!! I do hope that you will continue to have success with Martha's recipes.

I'm sure that I've told you this before Jen, but your writing style is so enjoyable and imaginative - your blog is a pleasure to read! :0)

creampuff said...

Oh, I'm with you Jen! I often find Martha's recipes sooooo disappointing! But she's obviously hit a winner here. Beautiful cookies!

~Madeline~ said...

I'm sorry to say I wish I never came across this page, I've already eaten 3 okay 4 and I'm not sure it's over. These are awesome!!! Great photo and and you made me laugh too. Thanks!

Windy said...

It seems the only ingredient I need to get is the dark chocolate... It reminds me of Nigella's intense chocolate cookies, which I still haven't got round to it yet.

Liska said...

They're so beautiful! And the pictures are great :)

rebel bea said...

gorgeous as ever! but how chocolaty these cookies look like??? double is not enough, I'll call them "hundred chocolates cookies"...what a wonderful deep brown colour...

daphne said...

I'm going to try these cookies soon. they look slightly crunchy..are they?

Marianna said...

WOW!! I just discovered your blog!! Amazing stuff! Absolutely love it! So glad I found it!!

singairishgirl said...

Wow, they look very very good. I'm gonna try them.

PhillyGirl said...

Made them last night. My 11-year-old son absolutely adored the cookie dough!! Declared it "Delicious." I used Ghiradelli Bittersweet (60% cacoa) and Milk Chocolate bars (4 oz each in the US) and Droste cocoa. I like to shake a little cinnamon in all chocolate desserts just for an added "boost" (can't taste the spice, it just adds a little "oomph."). Thanks for the modification of bittersweet/milk chocolate vice all milk chocolate. I think that worked much better. They were great!

Elizabeth said...

well well well. If your having problems with the recipe maybe you should try again. I make ALOT I mean ALOT of martha recipes and very rarely have a problem with them. Usually is the person(simply human error) not the source itself. Perhaps if you have a problem with a recipe you should try it a few more times, for I find when a recipe doesnt turn out Ive missed something very important, so I try again and Alas I get it right that time. I did however find an error on her peppermind marshemallow recipe. So Im not saying its not possible but 2 out of 8 recipes have not failed? Hmmm....

jenjen said...

Hi Elizabeth- It's good to know that you are having a lot of success using Martha's recipes. I know that with the Martha recipes that I have tried, they have failed not because of human error, but because there were parts of the recipe that were missing i.e. omitted ingredients or mismatching instructions.

Now this has happened one to many times. So I am simply speaking from my personal experience of using her Internet recipes and perhaps her cookbooks are better edited. I would like to hope so.

So thanks for letting me know about your success with her recipes. Hopefully I will have the same someday.

Marcia said...

Jenjen, you just took mouthwatering to a whole new level!

Pille said...

These look so intensely chocolatey!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Chocolate can reconcile even the worst of foes. ;) I'm so glad you gave her another chance, Jenny. Now we all get to reap the delicious benefit. Thanks for submitting them to Eat Christmas Cookies! -Susan

Elizabeth said...

I see....Do you get the recipes from the website? Ive noticed a couple of them are missing some instructions like I mentioned before the peppermint marshmallow recipe.

I love the pictures on your blog, I think they are absolutely beautiful, works of art even. I love photography and I think you are wonderful at it!!

Anonymous said...

I was so comforted to hear that other people have had trouble with Martha's recipes. Her Jicame Beet Salad was AWFUL.