Over the weekend I visited the newly opened Dean & Deluca store. Of the many pretty and desirable things on sale, it was a huge tin of cocoa that caught my heart. (And a big chunk of my cash too.)
I needed a recipe that would showcase the nuances of this premium (and slightly overpriced) cocoa. So I turned to an old favourite – the cocoa oatmeal cookie.
Since the oatmeal is only there for chewiness, you’re really tasting the cocoa through and through. My recipe’s adapted from one that I found on the Quaker Oats website a couple of years ago.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 160g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 90g flour
- 30g cocoa
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- A pinch of salt
- 125g (or 1½ cups) instant oats
Makes about 30 cookies.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a sheet pan (or two) with baking paper.
Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, vanilla essence and salt until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Step 3: Mix in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and oats.
Step 4: Roll tablespoon-portions of the dough into balls and place them on the sheet pan about 2 inches apart. (Or use a disher.)
Step 5: Bake for 12 minutes.
These oatmeal cookies are soft, chewy and very moreish. Taste-wise, I did think the Dean & Deluca cocoa in the cookies was sharper and richer. Visually, the D&D cocoa was much darker and redder than my regular cocoa, although I think it’s due to different processing methods rather than a difference in quality.
So was the D&D cocoa worth every cent? To be very honest, I can’t be sure. It’s good cocoa, without a doubt, but I’m hard-pressed to justify spending all that extra money. But I gotta say, it did feel good buying a luxury item, even if it’s only cocoa. And at the very least, I get to keep a pretty tin.