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German Chocolate Cookies

A surprisingly American treat.

by Aaron Sewell 

Many people don’t know this, but German chocolate cake is an American creation. In 1952, General Foods distributed a recipe found in a Dallas, TX newspaper to boost sales of Baker’s Chocolate. In fact, the name is a tribute to 19th century chocolate maker Sam German (the cake was originally named German’s Chocolate Cake).

The cake combines chocolate with coconut and pecans and is typically layered. However, cake isn’t always the best option when having a Fourth of July party. Therefore, I have devised a way to make German chocolate cake into a handheld treat…German…I mean German’s Chocolate Cookies.

Ingredients            

9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon instant coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup sugar

1 cup coconut shavings

¼ cup roasted pecans

Process

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is smooth.

Sift together cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder and set the mixture aside.

Mix the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a mixer until smooth. Make sure to use the paddle attachment. Beat the eggs in one at a time, then stir in the coffee crystals and vanilla until blended. Stir in the melted chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. Make sure you scrape the bottom so all of the ingredients mix together. Cover and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper onto cookie sheets; two should work but it depends on the size. Scoop about one tablespoon of dough and a pinch of coconut shavings and mix them together eventually forming a ball. Place the ball onto the cookie sheet and place a pecan on top. (You could also chop the pecans and include them into the cookie mixture if you so please. I put it on top for presentation purposes.)

Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack before eating.

Taste Test

The flour gives the cookies a cake-like texture. There is just the right amount of chocolate for chocolate lovers but not enough to make them overly rich. The coconut brings extra flavor while bringing it’s usual texture that, along with the nuts, give the cookies great depth. Rolling the dough into balls makes the cookies compact, allowing the inside to remain moist. Overall these are great cookies.

Leftover Quality

Like most cookies, these stay great for about a week, so make as many as you want!

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