Last week’s Wine and Unwind cookies came to be because of a challenge. Last year, James was working at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC (winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Regional Theater!) stage managing a production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Across the street from the loading dock in the back is a wonderful tea emporium and restaurant called Teaism. Serving a variety of teas as well as bento boxes, udon noodles and an amazing salted chocolate oatmeal cookie, it was a favorite lunch stop for the cast and crew. The actress Natalie Mitchell, who played Silvia, challenged James to make his own version of the cookie. It took a couple of tries, but James thinks this recipe is closest to theirs.
Salted Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup margarine
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (in the 1/4 cup I like to include 1 Tablespoon of Black Cocoa to intensify the chocolate. It can be found at baking shops or online at King Arthur flour but it is optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flaked coconut toasted LIGHTLY.
3/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
1. Boil water in a pot, and in a stainless steel bowl combine butter and bittersweet chocolate. When water boils, turn off the heat and rest bowl on the pot of boiling water. It will calmly melt the chocolate and butter together. Add sugars and combine. When cool enough, add in both eggs and vanilla.
2. Meanwhile, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl — add to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Add the rolled oats and coconut and mix, then finally add the chopped chocolate. Chill dough for at least a half hour — while oven preheats to 375 degrees F.
3. Place golf-ball sized chunks of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatten slightly (dough balls should still be quite thick). Sprinkle tops with more kosher salt or if you have, flaked sea salt. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Make sure that they do not brown too much or they will become dry and tough. Let stand on cookie sheet 2 minutes and then remove them to cooling racks.
The wine being served was a 2009 Cotes Du Ventoux. It is a very good wine under $12.00. James first served this wine at a Wine and Unwind during a production of KING LEAR at The Public Theatre. It soon became Sam Waterston’s favorite.
Natalie Mitchell says:
“These cookies are divine! I made them this year and brought them to my husband’s family’s house in Costa Rica. Since there was oatmeal in them, they thought they would taste healthy but they loved them!! In fact they said I can cook healthy whenever I want. It’s the perfect cookie for a health conscious person or just for someone who loves chocolate! I sometimes eat them for breakfast because there’s oatmeal in them! Yum …”