Chocolate, which comes from the cacao tree, is a legume. I've recently learned that from taking the "What's Your Chocolate IQ?" test in the February issue of the food network magazine. I only missed three questions out of 20, which put me in their "Super Sweet" category!--Which must mean, I have chocolate in my veins...LOL! I know I have it in my genes ;-)
The earliest record of chocolate was in 1100 BC with the Aztec culture, who made a beverage called xocolatl, meaning "bitter water." Subsequently, it was important in both Mayan and Aztec religious ceremonies where the priests offered up the cacao pods to their gods and served the drink. However, it was the Europeans who added milk and sugar to sweeten it that has become what we all enjoy as chocolate today. I was especially pleased, and know my mother would have been too, that bittersweet is actually considered "healthy" (in moderation).
Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Vanilla beans, split and scraped or 1 T. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Red Velvet Cake Flavor
2 large egg
1/2 cup cocoa (I used a Cocoa Rouge)
2 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter. Add the sugars and vanilla (beans or extract) and beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides between the beating.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Scrape down the sides.
In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa and the rest of the dry ingredients together, using a whisk to combine. Add to the batter and on medium speed, beat to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a one-quarter-cup scoop, measure out the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, rotating the pan once to ensure even baking.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then, transfer to a rack to cool completely. Makes 2 dozen 3-inch cookies.
Another thing I learned from this issue was that "If you treat yourself to chocolate, you're probably a more generous person." Hmmmm, I think I know some people to send some to! Enjoy!!