Monday, November 22, 2010

Cocoa and Cookies by the Fire

We are currently under a "winter weather advisory and hazardous weather outlook".

Yay Snow Day!

The last few years of winter have been dramatically different than when I grew up and much closer to what my father remembers the area being like when he was a child. Though we do not get the feet of snow many of you out there do, we tend to have weather conditions which are just disgusting. The snow which comes down is more like a complete slushy mess creating extreme traction problems when driving, yet chains are completely useless. The clouds dump that gunk while then proceeding to create low lying fog to blind the driver as well. Oh Goodie! Then everything locks down tight at night when the temperatures plummet (and stay) in the 20's. Long story short, you just don't go out.
Maybe it is just the math nerd in me, but the ice can be incredible sometimes.

So we stayed in and made cookies. Though I cannot claim this cookie recipe, it is hands down the best chocolate chip recipe I've tried. It kicks Nestle's butt and makes Chips Ahoy shameful. It was taken off of All Recipes and looks very unassuming. A standard recipe, but it has hidden cookie ninja powers somewhere because it is always amazing.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at at time. Mix in vanilla. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and blend with batter. Combine flour and batter 1 cup at a time. Fold in chocolate and nuts. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for approximately 10 minutes.

Thankfully for our pancreas and our teeth, we do not eat the cookies while drinking cocoa. However, we take turns between the two on cold days. Cocoa is an essential for fall and winter backpacking. Though I now prefer tea, cocoa wins out with my boys so we just carry it to make things simpler. The problem with most powdered cocoa mixes isn't only in what miscellaneous junk they throw in (for seemingly no reason) but also in the packaging. When you are packing out everything you pack in, a dozen little wrappers is just annoying. We now make our own cocoa mix and store it in a glass jar at home or one single Ziploc when we go out. If you only use the non-dairy creamer, the recipe is also vegan.

Homemade Cocoa Mix
8 cups powdered milk
4 cups non dairy creamer
6 cups powdered sugar
3 cup cocoa powder

Put then all in an very large bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep in a dry place. Alternately, you can put it all in a gallon sized glass jar, screw on the lid tight, and allow your child to play with it for a half hour. We opted for the second option and it came back thoroughly mixed.

The fires been going all day, and though there isn't any snow on the ground, the ice still isn't leaving. We're in permafrost right now and it doesn't look to be breaking till sometimes in the next few days.

We're well set with cookies and cocoa.

2 thoughts:

babbaapril said...

I hope all the cold wears itself out before mid December otherwise I will spend my visiting time stuck in an airport someplace else! :(

Mel said...

mmmm Cookies and cocoa by a fire sounds wonderful! It's pretty cold here, too (I'm hoping for a high of 0 F.) Maybe we'll need to make cookies today, too.

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