Day 114 Chocolate Cookies

My kitchen has returned to a calm centre amidst the unfamiliar in my home. As some of you know a failed water valve in the top floor washroom flooded my house from top to bottom on April 4th. Most of my belongings have been packed up and moved to storage and many walls and nearly all the flooring has been removed. Today the last piece of drying equipment was removed. To celebrate the switch from emergency response to restoration, I thought it was time for CHOCOLATE. I selected Emma Hopp’s recipe for Chocolate Cookies as likely to fulfill my need for chocolate among all the recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.

The directions for these cookies are interesting. Instead of creaming sugar and butter together, I first mixed the sugar, flour, baking powder and grated chocolate. I used two squares of Bakers unsweetened chocolate. The wet ingredients are butter, vanilla and eggs. Mixing these thee together was impossible so I poured them into the dry ingredients and used my hands to mix. I decided to try shaping the dough into balls and placing them on a greased cookie sheet. I flattened them and baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Emma Hopp was about thirty years old when she contributed this recipe to the cook book. In the 1901 census she is living with her German born parents Christian (76) and Louisa (68) and her 31-year-old sister Sophia. They are Lutheran. Her older brother and other four sisters are no longer at home. Emma works in a button factory and Sophia is in a shirt factory. Their father is listed as a day labourer.

Grating chocolate is a common instruction in the Berlin Cook Book. To end up with chocolate cookies a cook could grate chocolate, chop chocolate, melt chocolate or use cocoa powder. Chocolate chips did not exist until after the second world war.

There are several points where I might have gone wrong with this recipe but the end result is quite nice. One of my tasters is from Northern Ireland and she declared them “gorgeous”. It took two cookies before I decided they are very good cookies. They are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. They don’t look appealing as they are sort of speckled and rather grey coloured.

I like my version of Emma Hopp’s Chocolate Cookies but I would like to try experimenting to see if a different interpretation of her recipe results in a different cookie. Melting the butter would make it truly a liquid mixture to add to the dry ingredients. I’d like to try creaming the butter and sugar. Would it make a difference if I used semi sweet chocolate or a larger grater? Perhaps these cookies should be rolled and cut out before baking. For now I’m going to enjoy this version.

1/2 cup butter, 2 cups white sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup grated chocolate, 3 teaspoons vanilla, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 3 cups flour. Take chocolate, sugar, flour and baking powder, mix well together, then stir in the wet mixture.

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