Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Milk chocolate cookies

How to get the best possible care for a loved one in the hospital:

be nice and polite (but firm)

ask questions but don't create drama (hysterical shrieking is the fastest way to send hospital employees scattering from your room like startled rabbits)

be helpful but don't get in the way

and...

a good bribe* never hurts.

goodie box

goodie box, inside

Two large boxes (always bring sets of two, label one for the night shift and the other for the day shift), carefully lined with wax paper, filled with homemade cookies, with a little thank you message on top. I'm not saying it's the reason I got internet access in our room, but I'm not saying it isn't either.
Milk Chocolate Cookies from Martha Stewart's Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces good quality milk chocolate (half coarsely chopped for melted, half cut into 1/4" chunks)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

** Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

** Melt the coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter and then allow it to cool. (You can either use a double boiler for this, or you can simply use the microwave, if you're lucky enough to have a kitchen large enough to accommodate one, unlike me.)

** Beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla in the mixer. Pour in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

** Set the oven to preheat to 325 degrees. Chill the dough for about half an hour (Martha doesn't mention this, but I found it really helpful) and then use a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop (or a large spoon) to drop dough onto parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Cookies will still be soft. Makes about 3 dozen.
These are so delicious and chocolate-y. I'm not a huge chocolate person, but these were amazing enough to win me over. I can imagine jazzing them up with nuts or white chocolate chunks, or dried cherries, or coconut, but they are perfectly wonderful as is.

*Purchased goodies work too - we recommend See's candy or large to go carafes of good coffee paired with donuts.

45 comments:

  1. how did you know i spent last night in an icu and was sitting here trying to figure out what to do for my friends :)

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  2. they look delicious! nothing wrong with a good tasty bribe! You rock for bringing for both of the shifts!

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  3. So true and these cookies look so yummy! When our son was in icu there was no time to bake but See's candy did the trick. We got a huge box too because nurses are the most wonderful people. They were our angels in that incredibly difficult time.

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  4. oh wow, that would go really well with my cafe mocha I'm enjoying right now!

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  5. brilliant!

    and i'll be praying for whoever it is you are visiting in the hospital...

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  6. Baking always centers me when someone I love is in the hospital.

    Good job caring for the peeps who are caring for your peeps. And good energy your way.

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  7. how kind of you to think of the people in the hospital...i'm sure it means the world to them.

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  8. These look delicious (and beautiful -- mmm, beautiful cookies)! And here's to fingers crossed + warm-cookie-feelings sent to you + your fam.

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  9. did you see how smitten kitchen baked tons of treats to bribe her nurses in the hospital recently too? i'd never heard of this strategy before but i guess it's a good one. those cookies look divine - i certainly couldn't resist them.

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  10. I'll take that and a glass of milk, please!

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  11. oh...those with dried cherries in them? heaven.

    but yes, I would definitely need milk too.

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  12. I'm sure they're not used to such grateful visitors. And, if it gets the patient better treatment, that's a win-win!

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  13. wish I'd thought of this in july...good on ya!
    hope recovery is swift.

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  14. mmm. i can't wait to try these, i love cookies like these, thanks for this fantastic idea. so darling. p.s. you've won a prize on my blog. congrats. visit my blog today for details. xo.

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  15. so may sweets around blog land today. those look fantastic! amy

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  16. You're so thoughtful to do that! Those cookies look so good! I just made the brownies from that cookbook last weekend & they were delish. Have you made the cashew-caramel cookies yet? So ridiculously good, especially for Fall. :)

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  17. Yummy, thoughtful and it is much appreciated, I'm sure. I hope your loved-one is feeling better each day.

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  18. that's some good advice. i will definitely be making these cookies soon. i'm sure i'll think of someone to bribe with them.

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  19. Thanks for sharing what sounds like a super tasty recipe! I hope your step-dad is getting along well.

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  20. such a good idea...and so appreciated by the staff i'm sure.

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  21. i think you're onto something!! wonderful idea!

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  22. that's a good idea. not too sure how well it would go with the Irish heathcare system though but it couldn't hurt. thanks.

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  23. this is why i like you. good ideas. good recipes. good photos. perfect.

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  24. The nursing staff must LOVE you! These cookies look delicious! Serendipitous timing as well as I needed a snack for my 4-year old for preschool this afternoon and the brownies I wanted to make were going to take too long. I can't wait to eat them, the first batch will be done in a few minutes!

    I hope things improve soon for your loved one so you can spend time together outside of the hospital.

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  25. These look and sound divine! I know when I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my grandmother, my mom's and my appreciation and friendliness with the staff got us a lot farther than some of the rude visitors ;)

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  26. Ooh these are KILLING me! I love how they have those slightly crinkly tops--that's when you KNOW there's good stuff inside!

    i'm going to make these for my coworkers and my boss (much easier to ask for time off when you've buttered him up first!)

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  27. you sure know how to work the system. hope all is well with your loved one.

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  29. Yum! Thanks for posting this quick and easy -- yet oh so delicious -- recipe!

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  30. AUUGH! you are SO smart!

    while i don't currently have a loved one in the hospital (touch wood), i DO have a website that needs updating and this sounds like a lovely way to .. get that expedited.

    do you think this same strategy might work on web guys?

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  31. Rachel you are so cute, I bet the nurses loved them! Hope everything is going well at the hospital! See you soon!

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  32. I'm with you. I even take treats to the vet's office at times. I hope you stepfather is doing better. xoxo

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  33. AND

    Never let anyone you love go to the hospital alone (the advice from nurses). You can be a better advocate than the person who needs care.

    You're lovely, R, for the bribe and the sweet nurturing. I am sending bundles of good energy to you and yours. Hope things are okay as they can be. xo

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  34. Actual words: "Awwwwwwwwww DAMN those look good!"

    These are a must for the hospital in April... when baby #2 comes!

    MS's new cupcake book is making me drool too... my friends and I decided we needed a cupcake-making party!

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  35. Ha! I really had to laugh when I read this because this is so true! I really hope your stepfather is getting the benefits of your thoughtfulness for the staff and also your cleverness!

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  36. These look awesome! What brand of chocolate did you use? I'm always a little iffy on that.

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  37. Oh yes, we doctors do like a good biscuit! Heaven! Being nice (but firm) is definitely the best way to get on my good side!

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  38. Oooh...delish in every way. Can't wait to try the recipe.

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  39. so cute, i would give you anything you wanted to be on the otherside of that box too!

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  40. Ha, I'm a nurse and can validate this statement! Bribes are unnecessary, but the first 3 points are perfect. I love having family involved with my patient's care, but sometimes it does make it a little difficult, but either way I'd rather the family be there rather than not at all. I hope things with your family are going well!

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  41. Friends and I got together and made these. PERFECTION. Seriously, this cookie is *the cookie* to end all cookies.

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  42. OMG! i'v been dying to try all those

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