Thursday 7 February 2008

Fueling up for a marathon

M and I are training for the London marathon this year. Its something that we've both always thought about doing and we thought it'd be a fun(?) thing for us to do together in the run up to our wedding. Besides, since the race is only a month before the wedding, it would force us to shape up before the big day.

Now one of the unexpected perks of marathon training, is being able to eat a ton. Since we're logging 4-5 runs a week with a total mileage in excess of 30 miles, we're burning some serious calories. I'm sure you won't find this advice in any marathon training books but I'd like to think that cookies are a perfectly acceptable form of fuel for our runs.

With that as an excuse, I took the opportunity to try out a recipe that I've had my eye on for a while - Triple Chocolate Fudge cookies from Sherry Yard's The Secrets of Baking. Using a combination of cocoa powder, bittersweet and white chocolate chunks, cookies don't come much more chocolatey than this. They were so good that I scarfed down 6 cookies fresh from the oven. M had 5 the first night and another 5 the next. Feeling guilty about the overindulgence on my part, I carted the rest to the office where they disappeared in a flash.

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp tightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup 1/2-inch chunks of white chocolate
1/2 cup 1/2-inch chunks of bittersweet chocolate

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Cream on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Add the egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, 15 to 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the white and bittersweet chocolate chunks and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in.

If you want to bake these right away, preheat the oven to 350F. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough by heaped teaspoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies look dry and feel firm, turning the sheet front to back halfway through the baking. Remove the sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly onto a work surface. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Makes about 36 3-inch round cookies