Chocolate cookies for your Valentine

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Mary June Thompson, Celebrate Knoxville’s Contributing Food Writer is celebrating 2016 Valentine’s week with her rich, intense recipe for chocolate cookies. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a glass of your favorite wine.

Yes, we know you are trying to eat healthy but everyone needs a treat now and then. Valentine’s Day (February 14) is a great day to break from your routine with something chocolate. Share with someone special. Photo by Mary June Thompson.

“I’m Nuts About You” Cookies

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. each pecans, macadamia nuts, and almonds, chopped and toasted*
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips* (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)

Preheat oven to 350 °. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together using a hand mixer on medium speed. (Or use a stand mixer, if you have one.) Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix just until combined. Do not over-mix or cookies will be tough. Gently fold in nuts and chocolate chips.

Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop, drop batter an inch apart onto first pan. Bake exactly 7 minutes. (Cookies will just be set and will appear underdone.) Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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Celebrate Knoxville’s resident foodie Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.