A recipe for a cakey chocolate cookie with chocolate frosting. This one is an heirloom in my family.
Source: My mom got the recipe from her aunt, who it seems learned it from her mother, who got it from who knows where?
Yield: about 3 dozen
When I started this blog, my mom told me about her favorite cookie from her childhood. Apparently, her grandmother used to make these chocolate frosted cookies, and my mom remembers loving their cakey texture and frosting. Who wouldn’t? My mom had to call her aunt for the recipe, and I for one, am glad she did. Now that I have made the cookie myself, I almost cannot forgive Mom for not making this cookie when I was a child!
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (I have never come across a recipe with buttermilk that I didn’t love!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
There’s no real trick to making this dough. Just melt the chocolate, (I melted mine in the microwave) and mix the ingredients together in order. I will say that I used bread flour, only because this recipe has a tendency to get a little dry and heavy. I was definitely glad that I did.
You can skip poison checking this dough. It is not the greatest raw dough I have tasted. Instead, have a warm cookie right out of the oven, before they are frosted. Yum.
The dough does not go on in neat little balls. As you can see, they are unruly piles of dough. It’s part of their charm. I made the cookies quite small, as well. I recommend making them small, because the yield is only about 3 dozen, and you will want to make use of every tool in your arsenal to make these babies last more than a day or two.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. I cooked them for 10 minutes, because they were small-ish. See how they bake up all puffy and beautiful? If they are not puffy, consider adding a touch more flour. Let them cool a few minutes before adding frosting.
I have trouble putting a frosting recipe down on paper. I’m just not the type to measure frosting, or purchase ready-made frosting, for that matter. I will tell you that for this recipe, I started by melting about 3 tablespoons of butter, and it turned out to be not quite enough. So, start with about 4-5 T. Melt the butter, add a little vanilla (about 1/2 tsp) and some cocoa powder (about 1 T.). Give that a quick mix with the hand mixer to smooth all those ingredients together, and then add some powdered sugar. Once again, I don’t ever measure it, I just start adding some in a bit at a time, until it gets to the right consistency.
Today, I accidentally made the frosting too thick and it turned into little frosting pebbles. Still delicious, but terrible for spreading. I added about a teaspoon of milk, and the problem was solved. Honestly, the greatest thing about frosting is that it is so forgiving. Just keep adding powdered sugar or milk until you get the right consistency. Just keep some graham crackers on hand to spread the excess frosting on, if you have any! For this cookie, I actually wanted the frosting to be just a touch thin, and as it turned out, I got the consistency exactly right. (an unusual feat for me!)
I frosted the cookies gently and left them out to continue cooling. I was disappointed that my frosting only lasted as long as 21 cookies. Ah, what a wonderful cookie. I’m so glad to be re-introduced to a cookie my great-grandmother used to serve her family.