cooking the books 01


This week, I was going to cook something healthy for you. Something that featured kale, or maybe an ancient grain, or maybe that adhered to "the Nordic diet" which, according to my quick search for "healthy food trends" revealed that "Nordic is the new Mediterranean." That article claimed that "eating like a Viking" was linked to lower blood pressure and weight loss. Guys. Eat like a Viking? First we were supposed to go Paleo and eat like Cavemen; now it's Vikings. The day someone tells me to eat more like a Conquistador, I'm done. 

Anyhow, I had plans to make a wholesome, healthy dinner. And then Allison wrote this post celebrating International Chocolate Day, and you know what happened? Chocolate won. In the battle between kale and chocolate, chocolate always wins. So I wandered to the 641.6374's, which is the ingredient-specific Dewey Decimal classification for books devoted to chocolate, and I picked up one of Allison's recommendations, CHOCOLATE NEVER FAILETH (actually, I picked up several of them, but since I didn't have zucchini or exotic flours the "healthy" chocolate goodies weren't really an option). 

This book did not fail me, and neither did the chocolate. Every recipe features chocolate in a prominent way; there are easy recipes and complex recipes and even inedible recipes, which made me giggle. The instructions for chocolate-scented playdough contained warnings that you should tell kids that even though it LOOKS and SMELLS like chocolate, we shouldn't eat it. That just seems like a cruel joke!

Since my toddler and I were spending some quality alone time together while my husband worked, I decided to look for something quick and easy. The Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies did not disappoint; they come together quickly, even with the "help" of a toddler. They're hearty enough that they can stand up to maybe a little bit less flour because said toddler dumped all your remaining flour on the floor, leaving you 1/4 cup shy of the required 1 1/4 cups. There's just a hint of cinnamon, which adds a welcome twist to a traditional chocolate cookie. They satisfied my craving for chocolate, and since they've got oatmeal they qualify as a breakfast food! Right? Right? 

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
by Annette Lyon


1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cream the butter and the brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. 

3. Add the flour, chocoa, baking power, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well. 

4. Add the oats until completely moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips. 

5. Drop onto a cookie sheet by spoonfuls and bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will still be very soft. Let them finish baking on the cookie sheet for an additional 10 minutes before letting them cool completely on wire racks. 

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen (unless your toddler keeps snatching spoonfuls of dough. Then it will make five.) 


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