Blackout Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
I don’t really know if there is a day that passes without me baking something. I will admit that I tend to bake variations of the same core recipes, but there is a method to the madness. I can be a bit obsessive about the little things. I will always find something that is not quite right with a recipe or the outcome of a recipe. I am constantly tweaking, noting the outcome of each tweak.
Recently I was reading a recipe for chocolate chip cookies and noticed one slightly unconventional ingredient: cream cheese.
I had a love affair with cream cheese when I was younger. When I got bagels, my bagel to cream cheese ratio was 1 part bagel, 3 parts cream cheese. Bagels were just a vehicle for the cream cheese. Now, as a 32 year old lady, cream cheese and I have gone our separate ways. I don’t eat it nearly as much, but the idea of baking with it sounded brilliant.
Cream cheese can give moisture and a little tang to the dough. I will say that my little cream cheese experiment turned out far better than I expected. Let’s talk about a few important ingredients in this dough.
Black Onyx Coco Powder
I bought it on a whim, mostly because I loved that it was compared to that jet black stone. Black Onyx cocoa powder is a super dark, dutch-processed cocoa powder. This means that is has been processed to remove the natural acidity of the cocoa powder. You will get a much richer, slightly bitter dark chocolate flavor. I buy this cocoa powder from King Arthur, but there are several brands available online. If you don’t want to special order cocoa powder, then go to the grocery store and buy the darkest cocoa powder you can find (Hershey’s Special Dark is a good option).
Coffee and chocolate are a perfect pairing. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the espresso flavor. The espresso powder helps to bring out the chocolate flavor, making it smoother and richer. You can buy instant espresso powder in most grocery stores or online. If you don’t want to buy a whole new ingredient, then add a tablespoon of ground coffee instead of the espresso powder.
Dry Milk Powder
This is one ingredient that I consider a staple in my baking pantry. I add it to almost all my baked goods (except the dairy-free or vegan ones). Why? It gives you that chewy, soft middle. Christina Tosi turned me on to this trick and that lady knows what’s up. You can get dry milk powder at almost every grocery store. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill brand.
Flaky Sea Salt
I might be addicted to this stuff. I buy it in bulk because I use so much. I top every single cookie with a little bit of sea salt. No, it does not make them salty; salt enhances all other flavors. Try it. Get two crackers, cover both with almond butter (plain, unsalted), sprinkle a few flakes of sea salt on one and leave the other plain. Which one tastes better? The salted one.
For a super treat, mix flaky sea salt with raw turbinado sugar (aka raw sugar) and sprinkle a little bit of this mixture on top of each cookie.
That Egg Yolk
Egg yolks are kinda like the cream that rises to the top of fresh milk. It is the part of the egg that contains that special mix of fat, proteins, etc, without the added liquid from the white of the egg. By adding an egg yolk in addition to a whole egg, you will end up with a richer, denser, and softer cookie. I am a sucker for a soft-centered cookie.
This cookie is not what I would call healthier. It is full fat and definitely isn’t light on the sugar. But we all need to indulge a little bit and not to feel guilty about it at all.
3/4 cup gluten-free buckwheat flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup black onyx cocoa powder (or the darkest cocoa powder you can find)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
2 tbsp dry milk powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2oz unsalted butter (1/2 of a stick)
2 oz plain cream cheese
2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/2 cup cane sugar (I prefer to use organic cane sugar)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Flaky salt for topping
In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, oats, milk powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, coconut oil, cane sugar and coconut sugar and set it on top of a saucepan filled with an inch of simmering water. Once the butter is mostly melted, use a whisk to start stirring together and breaking up the cream cheese. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
After the butter-sugar mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in the egg and yolk. Whisk for about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk again for 2 minutes; you want to mixture to get a slight shine to it.
With a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and mix until the dry mixture if completely absorbed. Cover and chill for 2 hours (the longer you can chill the dough, the better. I usually chill dough overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a 2tbsp cookie scoop, scoop dough onto baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Top each with a sprinkle of flaky salt.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (better to under bake than over bake). Makes 1 dozen large cookies, 2 dozen small cookies. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight container.