We’ve just nearly died and gone to heaven after a weekend in the wilderness. Call it summer camp for grownups: a foothills retreat property packed with artists who paint all day, dine communally and take part in fireside chats, wine and much merriment in the games room. Croquet, anyone?
In truth, it’s really more of a hotel, complete with china tea cups, lovely antiques, bookshelves stacked with classics, lounging nooks inside and out, walls filled with an amazing art collection and lavish buffets featuring Alberta cuisine. And surrounded by so much beauty.
Chef Doug — he of the chocolate truffle cake and sour cherry/apple crumble — served these decadent cookies still warmed from the oven. What a great treat to serve with cold milk or hot tea or coffee after an exhausting day in the exhilarating outdoors.
The recipe is from Cinda Chavich’s High Plains cookbook, which she got from pastry chef Marianne Sanders. She warns not to overbake these.
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
7/8 cup (225g) Dutch process cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder (Doug uses 2)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 pound dark or white chocolate chunks (preferably Callebaut) 100 g
3/4 cup salted peanuts
Cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa and mix to incorporate. Add the eggs, one at a time, at medium speed, then the vanilla.
Combine the baking powder and flour and fold into the batter to combine. Fold in the white chocolate chunks and peanuts.
Chef Doug used a small ice cream scoop to drop the cookies onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, using about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie and leaving 2 inches between cookies to allow them to spread. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.
Recipe: The Crossing
“This is a recipe that we use, origin unknown.”
Preheat oven to 370F
Cream 2 cups of butter with 3 cups of sugar
Beat in 8 tsp. of white vinegar
Sift, then add…4 cups of all purpose flour, 2 tsp. of cream of tartar, 2 tsp. of baking soda, ½ tsp. of salt.
Form into 1 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture: 2 tsp. of cinnamon, 2 Tbsp sugar.
Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cook for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.