Cocoa catastrophe

December 20, 2002|by Chris Copley

What the heck is sweetened baking cocoa?

Readers of The Herald-Mail know if a recipe wins a contest, it must be worth trying. But after publication of the 2002 Herald-Mail Cookie Exchange on Sunday, Dec. 1, many readers preparing the winning recipe found it listed something unfamiliar: sweetened baking cocoa. Moreover, few grocery stores in the Tri-State area stocked such a thing.

Winning baker Aubrey Muller said she used a Nestle product called Toll House Cocoa, but Nestle no longer makes this product. Muller said unsweetened baking cocoa can be substituted. Here is the recipe with her recommended change.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Vanilla Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa, unsweetened

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup vanilla chips

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter chips

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chips. Drop by well-rounded teaspoonful on cooking stone or well-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until centers are set. Cool on wire racks.


- Aubrey Muller, Myersville, Md.

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