I always get funny looks when I talk about chocolate with other people. Everyone, obviously, has their favorite brand of chocolate. Ranging from the well known Godiva, Lindt, and if you're REALLY a chocolate connoisseur, Vosges is probably up your lane of choices as well. Not to say that any of these chocolates are bad. I like all of them, to be honest. Some more than others (I personally dislike anything from Lindt unless its their truffles). Either way, every foodie who enjoys the wonderful taste of chocolatey goodness usually has a favorite brand.
So when I tell people what my favorite chocolate ever is, they usually look at me and go, "Really?" as if they expected me to come up with some exotic chocolate from belgium that costs more than all my baking utensils put together.
But i'll be honest with you. My favorite chocolate is neither Godiva, nor Ghirardeli, nor any other special kind of chocolate from any country outside the US...
My favorite chocolate ever in the world is Hershey's Hugs Kisses.
Yes, that's right. Hershey's. Of all the chocolate I could pick from, I pick one that comes from Hershey's.
Call me crazy. Call me insane. It's okay, I won't mind. But I will do backflips for a bag of Hugs. It might be because everytime I've had them it's always been a special thing. Like sharing a bag with my sister while watching her play Zelda when I was a little kid, or the fact that my mom would always put a bag of them in my stocking for Christmas and in my Easter basket, or the fact that they are somehow ten times more stupendous when you eat them with someone you love. I don't know what it is about them. But biting into a hershey hug right out of the freezer, breaking open the white chocolate and milk chocolate swirly shell around it and then letting the pure milk chocolate center melt in your mouth -- Good Lord. I'm about ready to go to the store right now to get some. They are seriously that good, and I am not ashamed to say that I could munch on a bag mindlessly all day if given a chance (the boyfriend as my witness!).
So you can only imagine my reaction when I saw a bag of mini chocolate and white chocolate swirled morsels on the baking shelf of my local grocery store. Yeah. You bet I grabbed one. And ever since, it has been waiitng patiently in my freezer, waiting to be used.
While the mini chocolate morsels in themselves don't taste much like Hugs (unfortunately), they still get the job done. I've been waiting to come across the perfect recipe to incorporate them in and I honestly think that this might be it. Unlike your typical chocolate chip cookie, these are made with cake flour, a dash of Kahlua (a coffee liquor), and egg substitute. Lending for a much more healthier cookie in general that doesn't sacrifice or skimp on taste. The toasted pecans definitely lend a wonderful contrast, though I didn't use many of them because I like to have more chocolate in my cookies than I do nuts ;).
I won't lie, these are addictive. Though I didn't have Kahlua on hand, I replaced it with some brewed Espresso and I think that they came out just as good as they would if I had used Kahlua. These cookies are absolutely awesome and though they are originally meant for a blend of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips, I'm pretty sure that using the swirled kind lends its own flavor that lets you enjoy both at once instead of separately -- and I like it better that way.
If you don't happen to find the swirled morsels in your grocery, feel free to use a mix of white chocolate chips and semi-sweet ones. But if you do find them, I gotta say: use them! Do it. You won't regret it. I absolutely pinky promise you.
Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from Cooking Light)
2 cups cake flour (about 8 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons egg substitute (OR 2 tablespoon egg whites)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur) OR 1 1/2 tablespoons brewed espresso
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate/semi sweet chocolate swirled morsels OR
6 tablespoons semisweet chocolate minichips
1/3 cup premium white chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir with a whisk.
3. Combine sugars, butter, and shortening in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Combine 1/4 cup water, egg substitute, Kahlúa, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add Kahlúa mixture to sugar mixture; beat 2 minutes or until well blended.
5. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.
6. Fold in all your chocolate chips (whether you used the swirled or individual kind) and pecans. Drop by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
7. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, at 350° for 14 minutes or just until set and beginning to brown around edges and on bottoms.
8. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire racks.
Makes about 40 cookies.