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Joy of baking

Rocky road cookies

January 27, 2010

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Makes about 4 dozen

When times are tough, you need to be resourceful. Plan B: Eat chocolate. Based on the ice cream of the same name, these cookies are full of all the good stuff with a couple of alterations. Who needs marshmallows when you can have white chocolate? Cut your own from a bar of white chocolate or buy ready-cut chunks or chips. Same for the semi-sweet. What you’re going for is lots of flavor. Whether it’s a tough homework night, the end of a bad day, or even the end of a good day, take a bite and see what you think.

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup white chocolate chunks
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them; set aside.

3. In a bowl over a saucepan of hot water, melt the chocolate; remove the bowl from the heat. Wipe the bottom; set aside to cool slightly.

4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat until blended.

5. Blend in the melted chocolate, then add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

6. Beat in half the flour mixture, mix until incorporated, then beat in the remaining flour mixture.

7. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Stir in the cranberries, semisweet and white chocolate, and peanuts.

8. Drop the dough in heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheets, setting them about 1-inch apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the tops look slightly puffy; they will collapse and firm up.

9. Leave the cookies on the sheets for at least 10 minutes to cool. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Sally Pasley Vargas