07 June 2017

Even in Darkness, Life Can Be Sweet (plus recipe: Slytherin-inpired Dark Chocolate Anise Cookies)

When it came time to create the Slytherin cookies for the Hogwarts house cookie challenge issued to me by Savanna Sanborn (who was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – the Mormons – in Baltimore, MD), I knew immediately what the cookie would be. Even before I consulted my Harry Potter experts to verify the mood of the house.

Since Slytherin is known for an edge of darkness, I knew it had to be a dark chocolate base, with something unexpected, simple in execution, yet complex in flavor profile. But I’ve come to understand, in talking with my Harry Potter fanatic friends, that Slytherin isn’t the “evil house,” as it’s sometimes portrayed. There is a hint of sweetness, and a lot to admire about those in this particular Hogwarts house.

I strive, for each of the cookie recipes I create, to make the finished product reflect, in some way, the person who requested the recipe. And so I wanted to put a little bit of Sister Sanborn into each of the Hogwarts house cookies. For this one, I wanted to reflect her determination and strength. She’s an adorable, sweet young woman who looks like the exact opposite of the stereotypical Slytherin persona, 

but she’s also fiercely determined and won’t stop when fighting for something she believes in. I absolutely admire that in her.

And because my daughter (one of the strongest, most determined, refuses-to-back-down people I know) always tells me she fits in Slytherin more than any other house, I wanted the cookie to reflect her, as well. These flavors are absolutely Emily. (No surprise: this quickly became one of her favorite cookies of all time.)

Obviously, to create a cookie with the perfect balance of simple, yet complex flavors … darkness, with a hint of sweetness … all wrapped up in strength and power, there was only one flavor combination that would do: dark chocolate and anise (black licorice). It’s a flavor that not everyone enjoys, but those of us who do love it wholeheartedly.

Slytherin-inspired Dark Chocolate Anise Cookies

You will need:
2 c. butter
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. anise
2 c. cocoa powder
6 c. flour

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs, baking powder, salt, and anise, and beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

Mix in cocoa powder until fully combined.

Beat in half of the flour, then add remaining flour, one cup at a time, beating in between each addition.

Roll dough into ½-inch balls, and flatten slightly.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes.

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