Friday, December 10, 2010

Mystery Cookies: Getting in on the fun!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love libraries? I've been incredibly fortunate to get to know a couple of local librarians who have hosted me for author dinner visits. I just love these because we get to enjoy some of Ollie's recipes and tea room offerings from Grace's beloved Marshfield (prepared by wonderful caterers) and talk about books.

Tuesday night I was very excited to return to the Tinley Park Public Library to talk to Partners In Crime - their mystery discussion group - and Fran, the incredibly energetic and bubbly librarian who organized everything. Fabulous people. So much fun. And great food.

One of the dessert options was Crisp Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies, from State of the Onion. Not to disappoint you, but this recipe doesn't call for anywhere near as much chocolate as Krista's Monday recipe does :::grin:::

Now, I'd made these cookies before, but they didn't taste like the ones I had Tuesday night. The cookies (as prepared by Caffe Milan) were fabulous. They were fatter, thicker, and just plain tastier than when I'd made them.


Couple this realization with all the crave-inducing cookie posts here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen lately. Really, what's better than a cookie? Perfect for a quick, handy, delicious snack. Providing, of course, you have some in the house.

Which I didn't.

That was enough to convince me it was time to get in on the fun of baking some Mystery Cookies! What more did I need?

Well, as a starter, white chocolate chips. Milk chocolate chips. A dark chocolate bar.
Can you say "deprived"???

What I did have were semi-sweet chunks and a bag of dark Dove. I figured that was good enough and I decided to improvise.

What follows is the recipe as it appears in State of the Onion.
After that, I'll tell you how the improvisation turned out.


2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 egg, beaten until yellow

1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

¾ cup white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 six ounce package milk chocolate chips

1 3 ounce bar dark chocolate, diced into chunks

1 six ounce package of white chocolate chips

Parchment paper to cover cookie sheets

Preheat oven to 350° F

In a medium bowl sift together dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugars. Stir in vanilla until smooth. Stir in egg until smooth. Add dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, stirring to incorporate. Dough will be soft and uniform. Stir in chocolates.

Shape into in quarter-sized balls. Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheets, in widely spaced rows of three—this batter will spread during cooking! Bake until cookies are browned and flat, roughly 15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets. Remove cooled cookies from parchment paper and store in a tin.

(Hint—these are excellent crumbled and served over ice cream)

* * *
First of all, I must admit, I usually prefer my chocolate chip cookies thin, soft, gooey. These cookies are none of those things. They're thicker, substantive, and crisp.

I smashed the Dove Chocolates (10 of them, about 1/3 of the bag) into small pieces. I also skipped the white chocolate completely because I didn't feel like leaving the house. That meant these cookies were shorted 6 oz of chocolate. Personally, I don't think they suffered for the lack. I like white chocolate just fine, but I'm not crazy about it. Your mileage may vary.

In any case, I think the semi-sweet chunks were a good choice. I could barely taste the dark chocolate, but I believe its presence helped cut the sweetness a bit. I liked that.

The recipe also calls for rolling the dough into quarter sized balls. These turned out a little small, I thought. I preferred the cookies that came out thicker (rolled into half-dollar sized balls). But again, YMMV.

(Channeling my inner Cleo - trying to get cool close-ups!)

Have fun, happy cookie eating!

Happy reading, too!

Make someone happy with a book they'll love and help support independent booksellers at the same time. A two-fer!

* * * * * * * * *

Congrats to Krista on her new release this week!
A holiday mystery!

And in honor of Krista Davis celebrating this upcoming release,
she's holding a delicious contest!
Send Krista your favorite cookie recipe
Krista at KristaDavis dot com and you might win!

Find out more
clicking here


  1. Mmm...chocolate chunks! I just love recipes that have big chunks of chocolate in them. :) And I love your idea of adding them to ice cream--the perfect touch! Nice picture, too. :)

  2. omg YUM! It just so happens I'm addicted to those devilish little Dove chocolates and recently broke some into chunks to toss into a chocolate Bundt cake. Cannot wait to make these cookies!

  3. LOL on not wanting to leave the house. Oh, I feel you on that one! Winter weather has descended at long last on NYC and all I can say is brrrrrrr....inside is goooood thing! Grinning on the "inner cleo," too. Your photo and your cookies are wonderful. Love the improvisation and especially enjoyed your story of loving libraries. Amen to that! What a fantastic evening for those present -- meeting you and sampling Grace and Ollie's food.

    TGIF and have a great weekend!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Elizabeth - I prefer chunks over morsels any day. More chocolate is usually my motto. In this one, obviously, I went with a little less chocolate, but the cookie itself it so tasty I think it's worth the sacrifice :::grin:::

    Kaye - I *love* Dove - every flavor they offer. Absolutely addicted too. Especially to the "promises" with the fun sayings inside. Even though they make a peanut butter version, I like to take the milk chocolate ones and dunk them into my jar of PB. Just like the old commercial... LOL

    Cleo - LOL - But it's true. You're quite the inspiration. I was thinking of you the whole time I was composing my shots.

  5. Definitely have to make these. I have major chocoholics coming for the holidays. Me, included. What fun!
    Killer Characters

  6. Great photos, Julie! I have to tell you, I may run a cookie contest every year. This has forced me to bake cookies every week, so I now have a wonderful and varied collection in the freezer, ready to thaw and serve to guests. It has been a very easy and stress-free way to bake for the holidays!

    I want to reach into my computer and snatch one of your cookies. Yum! I bet there aren't any left . . .

    ~ Krista

  7. Love the photo effort... well done.
    I had one experience with busting up chocolate in place of chips. Unfortunately, I didn't think it through and used them in a recipe that was supposed to make white cookies with dark chips. Instead, because of the chocolate dust from the busting, the dough turned a nasty beige.

    But, you are smarter
    than I... or is it me that
    you are smarter than???

    Haiku mood today

  8. Avery and Krista - if you like crisp cookies, this is a great go-to recipe!

    Dave - LOL I had a good supply of chocolate dust, but I think most of it fell out of the holes I broke in the Ziploc bag when banged the chocolate with my meat tenderizer. LOL So I don't think that makes me very smart at all! Love the haiku, though. It's been years since I attempted one! Thanks for the day brightener.