time warp much?

Another month passes, and I have neglected my poor blog.  My life has been devoured by a new position at work, downtime spent baking and doing a little beading and sewing.  I could make up more excuses, but I will say that my little balcony garden is coming together nicely.  Perhaps fresh basil, parsley and green beans will show up in a post somewhere down the line.

Things baked since the last time ’round: several variations on Veganonimcon’s Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, a Transformers birthday cake, funny face cookie pops, Birchy’s cherry-blossom inspired 21st birthday cake, and some pretty yummy chewy-crispy peanut butter cookies half-dipped in chocolate. 

Yeah, you heard me.  Peanut butter and chocolate.

The idea of chocolate always being paired with “sweet” is flawed–if it’s always so sweet, so sugary, how can you truly enjoy the flavor of the chocolate?  At any rate, I was feeling inspired by a bar of dark chocolate – 90% organic cacao to be exact – that the chocolate loving women at work refused to put in their mouths.  An experimental corner had been broken off, another hunk having been dislodged but not removed from the package in process.  Clearly, had this been ‘approved,’ this bar would not have made it’s way to me.

Breaking it down into dual pencil eraser sized bricks gave me just under half a cup of chocolate bits, which I topped off with some Guittard semi-sweet chips to make a full cup.Whilst scooping the chocolatey dough out onto Silpats and parchment,  I had a thought.  There it was, that last little bit of dough after your round dozens are already scooped out, what to do, what to do.  Usually I might toy with the idea of making it into a bunch of minis or a couple of jumbos, but instead that day I thought of Rebecca.  She’s one of those adorably pregnant women who haven’t changed at all except for a basketball-sized protrusion, a glow and perhaps a hand supporting her lower back.  She had mentioned once that chocolate and coconut was one of her favorite combinations.  ::DING!::  Low and behold in the cabinet was a bag of sweetened flake coconut.  Sweet! 

May I introduce to you, Lil’ Sprouts, aka cookies for a Rebecca.  I’ve adjusted the recipe below so the whole batch would be coconutty instead of just the last bit.  Mind you, I haven’t tested the accuracy yet, so use caution: I made mine such that little hairs stuck out like roots, but not so much that they became macaroon-like.  

up close and personal
base cookies = yum

Lil’ Sprouts
[(c) c.ignacio]
makes approx 2.5 dozen

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
7T vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 c sugar
4 tsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 c soy milk
1/4 c coffee
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp chocolate extract (if you don’t have any, you can sub almond or more vanilla)  
1/2 c extra dark chocolate, broken into bits
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c sweetened flake coconut

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Thoroughly combine the canola oil and melted chocolate in a medium bowl.  Stir in sugar, mix to combine.  Add flaxseeds, soy milk, coffee and extracts; whisk together.  

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in dry ingredients till nearly just combined. Add chocolates, coconut and stir till evenly distributed and dough is overall just mixed.  

Scoop onto cookie sheets (I use a just-larger-than-ping-pong sized cookie scoop, but a 1 1/2″ ball would do) and press down lightly till about 1/2″ thick.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or till tops just crack.  Remove and allow to cool on pan for five minutes before moving to rack to cool completely. 

And to close, Birchy’s cake:DSC00995

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