Chocolate Chews

August? Already? I can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by.Chocolate ChewsActually the last week has felt like it’s already winter. It’s been cold and rainy and yucky. Not great summer weather but perfect cookie baking weather.Tim and I took a little camping trip just as the weather began to turn winter-esque last weekend. It stands to reason that we decide to go stay in the woods and Jack Frost decides to do the same. Our first afternoon, Thursday, was nice, actually. We set up camp in dry weather, took a bike ride, wandered around the nearby cute town and had delicious cocktails and an appetizer at a local restaurant. The rain even held off long enough to have a campfire and roast a few hot dogs and marshmallows.

Friday we took our rain coats and water proof shoes and headed over to an island we wanted to check out. They allow camping on this rustic, lost in time island and we decided to check it out in order to appropriately plan a rustic camping trip to the island in the future. It was chilly but the rain held off and the island was very pretty and historic. The rain didn’t hit until just before we boarded the boat to head back to the mainland. (The boat was late picking us due to fighting its way back across the lake through the storm.) We spent 2 slightly nauseating hours fighting through rolling water, high waves, heavy rain & wind. Roughest boat trip I’ve ever been on. I never get sea sick, but I had to keep reminding myself of that! Mind over matter. I felt like a crab fisherman!Chewy!The rest of the weekend followed the same pattern. Lots of rain and very cold. I thought the rustic camping (vault toilets, no showers) would drive me crazy but really the lack of sun, warmth and constant state of dampness is what drove me crazy. The lack of showers would not even have seemed an issue if it had been warm enough to hit the beach and take a swim.

Tim and I like to camp. We try to go a couple of times a summer. Usually we hit a state campground with running water, electricity, showers, etc. Not really that different from having a campfire in our own backyard. This was the first time we’ve chosen a campground with no showers, electricity, etc. We are getting out feet wet. Tim has convinced me that we are backpackers. And I am kind of excited about it. (Don’t tell Tim.)

Of course, I am still wrapping my head around the idea of peeing in the woods, filtering drinking water out of a lake, eating trail mix and dehydrated food for days, hanging food in trees so the critters can’t get it.  That’s why we are easing into it.  Plus all that backpacking crap is expensive! Wow! Who knew it would cost so much for a tiny little lightweight tent! Not to mention the backpacks, sleeping bags/mats, water filtration system, tiny camp stove. FYI-the smaller and lighter camp equipment is, the more expensive it is.Chocolately!Regardless of the cost or logistics, the idea of a few days alone in the woods exploring with my favorite person is actually quite appealing. We always have a good time together and I know if we stumble upon a scary critter or murdering hermit in the woods, he’ll protect me.

All this camp talk got me off the topic of these cookies. There’s not much to say. . they are delicious! Chewy, chocolatey goodness. I recommend them. And if you bring these cookies backpacking and run into a murdering hermit you might be able to distract him with the cookies and make your getaway. Or at least that’s my theory!

Chocolate Chews

2 squares unsweetened, baker’s chocolate, melted and cooled

1/2 cup shortening

1 2/3 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Melt and cool the chocolate. Add the shortening, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla. Beat until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

After chilling scoop dough by heaping tbsp onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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