So how was that fruitcake you received last Christmas during your workplace Kris Kringle? Still got it? Can’t blame you. I know some friends who have learned to use this ‘bejeweled’ sweet as door stoppers. You’re welcome to follow suit. And for those really doused in alcohol, you can bring them to your next bonfire event. They’d make good fire starters.
If you must opt for something edible to give away this holiday, why not whip up something in your kitchen and be different? Even if your office colleagues are some of the blandest characters on the planet, it doesn’t mean that you’ll present them with something just as blah. (Like fruitcake.) Remember that gifts are a reflection of your taste and personality. Handing someone another miserable fruit-studded loaf is tantamount to saying you’re boring and couldn’t care less about how the recipient feels.
Now here’s what I decided to distribute this year: monsters! Did I just hear, “Say what???”
That’s right, monsters. I know, I know. Halloween is over. But who would reject these palm-sized beasts of a cookie? They meet my edible gift criteria quite nicely: handmade and bespoke, pack a big chocolate wallop but small enough to fit into holiday stockings.
Creating them couldn’t be easier. A batch of recipe gets mixed in a bowl then with an ice cream scoop, mounds of the dough are placed on the baking sheet before being dotted with additional chocolate chunks. Pop in the oven and watch them grow into giants.
Encase a monster (or two) in clear plastic and finish with a colorful bow. You may attach a tiny ornament to reflect the personality of the recipient. A miniature dumbbell perhaps for the Fitness Buff. A small credit card key chain for the Shopaholic. A wooden tee for the avid Golfer.
A classic treat made extra dark and bursting with goodness for the holiday season. These certainly would have a greater chance of being consumed than that brandy-soaked cake that you wouldn’t even want to cast a glance on the supermarket shelf, let alone receive one.
I guarantee you. These bad boys will never find themselves eaten by the crackling flames of the fireplace!
Double Chocolate Chunk Monsters
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s The Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Makes 12 monsters
|1 cup||unsalted butter|
|1/4 cup||Dutch-processed cocoa|
|1 tsp||baking soda|
|1/4 cup||granulated sugar|
|1 1/4 cups||packed brown sugar|
|1 1/2 tsp||vanilla extract|
|300 gms||semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks|
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool completely. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl. Add the sugars and cream together on medium speed. Add the whole egg, yolk, milk and vanilla extract. Blend well. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Reserve a cup of the chocolate chunks and stir in the rest into the dough.
Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Dot the top of each mound with remaining chocolate chunks. Chill the dough for a whole hour. Bake for 14 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.