Thanks so much for having me on Dying For Chocolate, Janet! You have so many amazing chocolate recipes and I want to try them all!
I launched my blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, almost two years ago. I had toyed with the idea of blogging for over a year but wasn’t sure what direction I really wanted to go in, although I knew it needed to involve food. Then in the middle of the night, during one of my insomniac moments (where I always find new ways to keep myself too busy), my blog title came to me and I felt ready to move forward. I initially started out by creating a recipe to share and then chatting a bit about what book I had just read. Mysteries have been my favorite genre since childhood so it was a natural fit, especially when I started finding so many culinary cozy mysteries!
I had the good fortune of being able to attend Bouchercon 2014 when it came to Long Beach, California, which is fairly close to where I live. By chance, I happened to sit at a luncheon with Sparkle Abbey (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter) authors of the Pampered Pets Mystery series. They were so friendly and not at all unapproachable like I thought authors would be. I loved their books so when I started blogging I knew I wanted to share a review. However, I had no idea how to make pet treats so wasn’t sure how to create my own original recipe to put on my blog. Since Sparkle Abbey’s book had several pet treat recipes I gathered up my courage and contacted them asking permission to share their recipe. They were so gracious and actually seemed happy that I wanted to do that!
From there I decided it wouldn’t hurt to ask other authors if I could share their recipe and since then I’ve connected with over 70 authors! (I have a list of the authors on my blog’s sidebar. If you click on their name it will take you to their website. Very helpful if you’re looking for new authors and books to read!) Each of these authors have been equally friendly and I am grateful for the amazing opportunity to work with them and even develop friendships with a few. It has also been a joy to connect to other book bloggers and fans who appreciate the great books these amazing authors write!
I’ve also gotten more into the food styling and photography part of blogging and then started shooting short YouTube video tutorials for the recipes I prepare. I find them helpful, especially for novice cooks, to actually see what something is supposed to look like when you’re preparing a dish. I am definitely NOT a professional and the more I read the more I know I have so much more knowledge to gain in this aspect. Since I put so much time and effort into each blog post (probably between 15 to 20 hours depending on the recipe), I limit posts to twice a week. Once in a while I can’t say no and it’s three posts but then other times I only post once.
Believe it or not, even though I’m preparing recipes from the books I’m reading twice a week, I still like to tinker in the kitchen and create new recipes of my own. One of my favorite things to bake is cookies! I make over 3,000 cookies each holiday season to give out as gifts and I’m always looking for new ones to try to include in the goodie bags. One of the recipes that is popular with the recipients is my Crispy Thin Chocolate Cookies. They are crispy on the outside yet chewy on the inside…the perfect combination! I’ve included two ways to handle the dough, depending on if you want to bake them (after an hour of chilling) right away, or if you want to bake at a later date. Either way, I hope you enjoy these rich dark chocolate cookies as much as my family and friends have!
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPh7gMSP1jeUyVgeWss7ixA
Crispy Thin Chocolate Cookies
Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside with a rich, buttery dark chocolate flavor thanks to a generous amount of Dutch cocoa powder.
1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
Granulated sugar and/or coarse sparkling sugar
Don’t preheat the oven yet, as the dough needs to chill.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using, into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and mix in.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
After one hour you can either:
1) Use a tablespoon-sized scoop and form the dough into balls, rolling each one in a bowl of granulated sugar until completely coated. Place the dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure to give them plenty of space since the cookies spread during baking. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees (F) for 9 – 11 minutes, rotating pan half way through the baking period.
2) If you’d rather not bake right away, roll the dough into 2 logs that are about 2-inches in diameter and 12-inches long, wrapping each log tightly in sheets of parchment paper. Twist the ends of the parchment paper to secure. Refrigerate the logs for up to 2 days, or place in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and freeze up to two months. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and slice logs into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet, keeping plenty of space since they spread, and sprinkle each cookie with white coarse sparkling sugar. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes, rotating pan half way through the baking period.
Whichever method you use, cool the baked cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.