A Chocaholic’s Dream … Double (or triple) Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My grandmother passed away last week. I know – it’s not quite the opening you expected in a blog post about chocolate cookies. But let me explain.

My grandma was a chocaholic. For as long as I can remember, she always loved chocolate. Mallomars were actually her favorite cookie; I’ve heard countless stories about how the local grocery store where my dad grew up in the Bronx called her the “Mallomar lady.” My parents would buy boxes and boxes of Mallomars and wrap them to give her as holiday gifts. To be honest, I never really liked Mallomars. And I’m certainly not a chocaholic – as you may have noticed, I hardly ever make something that’s chocolate based. And when I do, it’s often for B or other friends and family. And during the holidays, I always made sure to include something chocolate when baking, because I knew that would be what my grandma would like best. In fact, I even brought her some Rolo Stuffed Peanut Butter Brownies this year before Christmas when I visited her with my dad.

(image via npr)

I’ve been somewhat of a funk since she passed away. I know, it’s normal – and I know, I don’t usually post about stuff like this on here. But I tend to look back on old blog posts as some sort of a diary and I want to remember this time. In fact, it feels good to remember her here and to think about her love of chocolate. Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, there are two main ways I deal with stress/anxiety/etc. in my life – running and baking. So I’ve been doing a lot of both this past week. And one of the recipes I made, I made in honor of my grandma. Because I know she would have LOVED these cookies.

My grandma, B and me on our wedding

My grandma, B and me on our wedding

Got a chocolate lover in your family? Or maybe you have the chocaholic gene in your family? (My dad got it too!) Then you’ll love these cookies. They’re soft, chocolatey and well – pretty much everything a chocolate cookie should be.

triple chocolate chunk cookies icrashedtheweb

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. semi or milk chocolate chunks (I used mini Hershey kisses, chopped up)
  • OPTIONAL – for the extra chocaholic: 1/2 c. your favorite M&Ms (I used some peanut M&Ms in some, but didn’t photograph those)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips, chunks and M&Ms (optional, but without the M&Ms they’re only double chocolate chunk cookies:)).
  6. Allow dough to chill in refrigerator for 30 min to 1 hour.
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  8. BAKE for approximately 10 minutes, until cookies are puffy. Cookies will be a little bit cracked on top but still soft.
  9. Cool on wire racks.
  10. Share with our favorite chocaholic or enjoy yourself!
double chocolate chunk cookies - i crashed the web

These are technically double chocolate chunk cookies since you can’t see the peanut M&M ones. I dare you to wait for them to cool!

triple chocolate chunk cookies with milk - i crashed the web

Surprise! They go well with milk.

And because this wasn’t the happiest blog post, I leave you with a famous/fun Mallomar reference. My grandma wasn’t the only one with Mallomar addiction 🙂 (and this is from the Sopranos – so it’s obviously got some language that’s NSFW)

Weekends In My Second Home – New York (Part Two)

Friday night I had planned on staying with my brother in his dorm room. I did it last year, and post-dinner we had just hung out, chatted and gone to bed, which is kinda what I thought we were going to do this year. I was wrong! This year, Greg wanted to take me out with his friends. I’m clearly not in college anymore. His friends were meeting at 11 p.m. to go out … yes, 11, which is later than I typically go out now. We went to a bar only a few blocks away from campus, a bar that gave out free shots of anything (including tequila) if you friended them on Facebook. And then it started pouring out, and none of us had umbrellas. You can tell from those last two sentences how my night was. It was a good time – I enjoyed meeting my brothers’ friends, partying like a college student for one night and getting stuck in the rain.

this is what happens when Greg and I hangout... a photoshoot

this is what happens when Greg and I hang out

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early (sleeping on a dorm room floor isn’t easy, even if you have a blow up mattress), and Greg suggested we go for a quick, short run while he waited for his laundry. Another impromptu, unplanned run in New York? Score! After the run, we enjoyed breakfast and then it was time to say goodbye as my parents and B were on their way to pick me up to visit my grandma while my brother studied for finals.

Grandma, dad and me

Grandma, dad and me

My grandma lives in an assisted living home with a lot of other elderly people. It was SO nice to see her – it’d been a few months – but it’s always hard seeing her living there, as opposed to the apartment I saw her in when I was growing up. I hope that when I’m old and if I’m living in an assisted living home I take advantage of all the activities they have. Posted in the elevator I saw the schedule for the weekend included crafts, live music, a morning walk, and even some fresh-baked apple pie BEFORE dinner.

After visiting my grandma we headed back up to Albany and went out to a really delicious dinner at a Turkish restaurant. My parents went to Turkey last year to visit my brother who had an internship there over the summer (see how cool he is?) and I’m convinced that since then they enjoy Turkish food more. Anyway, I gobbled it all  up before taking any photos because I was so hungry after smelling the warm apple pie cooking all afternoon. I fell asleep on the couch at home (see, this time home means in Albany!) after a tiring but relaxing day.

Mother's Day Brunch

Mother’s Day Brunch

Sunday I woke up and my parents were getting ready to go for their usual hour and a half walk around the neighborhood. I decided to join them, but go on a run first and meet them halfway. For some reason (perhaps fueled by the amazing Turkish food?), I ran faster than I normally do – my MapMyRun app clocked me at running 4.75 miles in under 42 minutes! After my faster-than-usual run, I found my parents and enjoyed a leisurely walk home with them.

sunday run splits

Check out my splits for the run! I’m not typically this fast unless it’s a race.

After our walk/run, we went out to Mother’s Day brunch in downtown Albany. We had reservations at Justin’s on Lark Street, which had a great breakfast and live piano music. I enjoyed a latte, some cornbread and a great brunch of eggs over easy, french toast, bacon, potatoes and toast. I was starving (again!) and finished it all. Post-brunch, the weather looked nice, so we headed over to Washington Park where Tulip Fest was going on. The Tulip Festival happens every spring in Albany and features live music, food vendors, family-friendly activities during the day and other activities at night, and even the crowning of a Tulip Queen. We only had time to walk around for a little before it was time to head back home, pack and head to the airport.

mom dad me tulips

As always, it was sad to leave my parents and head back to Cleveland. But it was such a beautiful weekend and I had such a good time, which made leaving easier. I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend as well!

And since there are no food photos in this post, I’ll leave you with what B and I enjoyed for dinner after we got off the plane late Sunday evening for dinner – Vietnamese.

I <3 Vietnamese Food

I ❤ Vietnamese Food

Some questions:

  • Do you live in the same city as your parents/siblings? If not, do you visit them often? My family is all in New York, but I try to get out there a few times a year. I also love hosting them in Cleveland! 
  • What time is too late to go out at night? No time – but I think getting ready to go out at 11 p.m. is too late for me now. I guess I’m getting old!
  • Do your parents work out or have a work out routine that they stick to? Yes! They have for as long as I remembered. We would go to the YMCA as a family when I was young or go on long walks. Which is probably why I have always felt the need to stay active and get in a run or some other activity every day.
  • Do you enjoy brunch food? What’s your favorite? I typically enjoy the more savory brunch foods like eggs – I don’t really like pancakes, waffles, french toast, etc.