Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Pure chocolate cookies

Last year I started running. With no conviction at all, I just desperately needed it. I needed to do some exercise. My body and my head were screaming it out loud. I could not afford back then to go to the gym, which is what I had done very happily at other moments in my life. But I was simply unable to make it work in my crazy schedule. -and no, these are not excuses, I know far too well what I mean-; so while running is something I'd always hated, at that time it was all I could manage, so I decided to give it a go.

For a few weeks I was improving my aerobic capacity (well, basically I was creating it, because I have never had it), returning home breathless, flushed like a tomato about to explode, supporting the ironic comments of my hubby, -who can be really annoying-; seeing my daughters’ looks, as they could not believe my face could get that color.

But gradually my husband’s bad jokes began to stop as he develop a bit of healthy envy on my stamina and my tomato face just got grapefruit red instead. I did never run long distances or high pace, but I started to get into shape.

In the middle of that, I had to move houses, have a new job, in a new country, in a new environment, and running went again to the bottom of my priorities list. 

It's been a busy year, but it looks like things are back to routine. That is why some months ago, when I had that feeling of having been here long enough, I decided I had to start running again. 

Just as summer started I went back to running. I started and I slowly got in shape. I even took my running shoes on holidays –and used them- and, at some point some weeks ago, I was running for 30 minutes at a really good pace. And of course, I did it once, and then again, and again, and again. And I did more km in a week that I had done in my entire life. The feeling of accomplishment by running faster and faster, more comfortably every time; the anticipation of the joy of running – I was totally hooked. But for better or worse, it might be my over-excitement, or my absolute lack of technique, but right now my left knee is keeping me tied to the chair. I probably trained a bit too much a bit too soon, overloaded with excitement and recklessness.  

So I'm frustrated. Waiting for my knee to fully recover seems to be taking forever.
You are warned, guys: Injuries are not good. But being injured because you've tried seems to me the most healthy of exercises.

So, since I am injured it was inevitable fall back into temptation. And the temptation for me is shaped almost exclusively chocolate. Black. Bitter. Intense.
These cookies are a shot of chocolate when you need it. They're easy, they're fast, and they are simply perfect. So whether you're injured or not, when you need some good chocolate, here are some cookies to draw a huge smile in your face, sure.

Pure chocolate cookies
100 grams of plain flour
125 grams of cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
80 grams of butter
170 grams icing sugar
1 small egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. Put the softened butter in another bowl with the icing sugar and mix with a wire whisk for about 3 minutes until pale and foamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again. Gradually add the flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon mixture until you have a dough. Wrap in kitchen plastic and put into the refrigerator at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a tray with a silicone sheet or baking paper. Make small balls of the size of a teaspoon. I put a couple of drops of oil in my hands and work the dough quickly into balls of a similar size. Put them in the tray well apart because they will spread in the oven and we do not want to stick.
Take them to the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove them carefully with a spatula while still hot, and place them in the tray to cool on wire rack until completely cool.

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