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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Plate Tectonics Cookies

Some people call these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I prefer calling them plate tectonics examples. I occasionally teach geology and earth science and I've found cookies make great analogies. Plus, they're tasty.

So, quick lesson on plate tectonics. When you have a liquid mantle with convection currents in the interior of a planet, the crust (the part that cooled and solidified) is broken into chunks that float on the surface of the mantle. As the currents move, they shift the plates around. Sometimes they slam into each other. Sometimes they grind past each other. And sometimes, they pull apart along spreading zones where hot fresh lava oozes out onto the surface and creates new crust.

These cookies show some fun "plates" in the powdered sugar coating. They're more spreading zone artifacts than true tectonic plates, but you get the idea.

Plus, they're tasty. How many rocks can claim that?

Plate Tectonics Cookies

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil or melted butter
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour (white works best for this recipe although you can use whole wheat)
powdered sugar for coating, about 1 c.

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, and cocoa powder until blended. Add eggs, baking powder, and salt. Beat until creamy. Stir in flour just until mixed. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

Heat oven to 350°. Scoop dough using a regular sized cookie scoop or spoon. Drop into powdered sugar, roll lightly to coat. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until just set. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Admire your lovely chocolate/powdered sugar tectonic models. Devour with plenty of milk and napkins.