Chew This.jpg

From left, Brooke McCrobie and Damon Doubman

I have been wanting to share this special recipe with everyone for awhile and decided that now would be the perfect time! My family and I first got to know Brooke McCrobie at Glen Oaks Health Campus in New Castle while she was caring for my Grandma Deloris. My Grandma Deloris loved the facility and loved the staff but held a special place in her heart for Brooke. Over the course of several months and years, we really got acquainted with all of the Glen Oaks staff and they became like family to us. We shared history with them and them with us.

Penny and I would visit Grandma Deloris every single day, as would my Mom, Darla, but it was on the weekend evenings, when Penny and I would go and visit by ourselves that Grandma Deloris and I would have some of our best talks. Sometimes she gave me advice that was difficult for me to hear but at the same time, completely necessary for me to hear. I told her what I wanted out of life and also what I did not want out of life and she listened and understood me. We talked about anything and everything and yes, Margaret, Grandma Deloris’ roommate had her fair share of sage advice for me too. I miss them both so much that it hurts to think about.

After my Grandma Deloris passed away, my family and I tried to maintain a relationship on some level with the Glen Oaks staff. They had done so much for Grandma Deloris and for us. We went back a couple of times to visit everyone but everything in the building was too strong of a reminder of what was and how things used to be in better times. It was difficult and it hurt. My Mom and I were just getting ready to start inquiring about volunteering at Glen Oaks when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. During the pandemic, there has not been a day pass that we have not thought about the Glen Oaks staff and the residents there. It is hard to believe that we are coming up on one year since the pandemic began. Wow.

One positive thing that has happened to our family during this difficult time, has been Brooke McCrobie. She is now my brother Damon’s girlfriend and we are all so happy! She has really made him a better man and I am so incredibly proud of him. Brooke and her family are some of the sweetest and most down to Earth people you could ever hope to meet. My Grandma Deloris and I would have conversations about Brooke and how she thought she would be perfect for Damon. My Grandma Deloris and my Mom had some of the same conversations. Nothing really could happen though at the time because Damon and Brooke were at different points in their lives. Things lined up though, in God’s own timing, and we are all so incredibly thankful for that. Grandma Deloris has to be smiling down from Heaven, looking at Damon and Brooke, fishing together, remodeling her old house together and having such a good time with one another and saying to herself, “See, I told you so.” Ha! What a matchmaker! The recipe I am sharing today is Brooke’s very favorite cookies and I have to say, they are pretty delicious!

Brooke McCrobie’s Favorite Cookies

This dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours, so be sure to take the appropriate time with this recipe. This dough can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 cups white granulated white sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups white all-purpose flour

1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

2 cups powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat together the vegetable oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, melted butter and white granulated sugar. Be sure that everything is well mixed.

Next, add in the 4 large eggs, one at a time, stirring about 50 strokes between each addition. This is the easiest way of making sure each egg is completely combined into the batter.

After the addition of the eggs, stir in the pure vanilla extract, instant coffee granules, baking powder and salt. Stir together until everything is well combined.

When everything is combined and the batter is thick and glossy, add the 2 cups of white flour all at once. Stir just until there are no white steaks left in the batter – be very careful not to over mix the batter.

Finally, gently fold in the all-purpose flour coated semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Cover your bowl with a lid, plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate AT LEAST 4 hours – or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and pour your powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl.

Using a tablespoon, (I used two regular sized cereal spoons), scoop the refrigerated dough into balls, place and roll them in the bowl with the powdered sugar, and place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake them, one sheet at a time, in a preheated oven for exactly 15 minutes.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few messages about where my recipes and columns appear, so I wanted to remind everyone of where you can find me. You can find my “CHEW THIS!” columns in The Courier-Times and The Shelbyville News. You can also find my previous columns, new recipes, cookbook reviews and kitchen tips and tricks on my website at blaisethebaker.com and trailblaise.com The only social media I have currently is Facebook.

Blaise Doubman, of Kennard, is an Indiana University graduate. He invites readers to visit his website at: TRAIL BLAISE (http://trailblaise.com). He loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted via the contact page found directly on his website.