Yes, I am one of those women who feels a need for chocolate in her life. I love it, I crave it, and I know I am not alone in this. What’s not to love, it’s rich, creamy, and has great t.v. commercials. Admit it you always wanted to indulge on a Dove bar with silk draping all over you, ha ha, o.k. well maybe not but it still looks like it tastes fantastic, and experience has proven this to be true. So, why the crazy craving well here are the answers.
1.) Cultural habits: there is a psychological link between chocolate, luxury, relaxation, and love. Remember that Dove commercial I referred to? Women in particular associate these things with chocolate, and also perhaps why nearly everyone craves chocolate on valentines day, because it is culturally acceptable.
2.) Chemical reactions: as a scientific women I like this answer better. Chocolate releases “feel good” endorphins and seratonin into the brain, even the Harry Potter novels acknowledge that chocolate after something traumatic will help calm the body and return to a “right as rain nature in no time” (Chocolate frogs anyone?).
Along with the release of these chemicals, chocolate contains chemicals like theobromine and caffeine which provide you with a mental boost and energy. It also contains phenylethylamine which increases nervous system reactions, and anadamide, a built in flavor enhancer that some scientists liken to actual drugs.
So the good news! Your willpower is intact! The bad news, you may have a chemical dependency on chocolate… boy it sounds really bad when you say it like that doesn’t it?
So, what’s the solution, now that we are all chocolate junkies? Simple, moderation~ avoid the nougat and skip the milk chocolate it contains more fat~ instead indulge in small amounts of dark, chocolate, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate. Dark chocolate contains flavanoids or antioxidants that can actually help the body (when eaten in moderation, don’t over do it!) These antioxidants can help prevent heart disease, relax blood pressure, and balance certain hormones. One quarter ounce piece of dark chocolate contains nearly 8 times more antioxidants than a strawberry!
The only thing left to do now is become and enabler. As a chocolate junkie myself, I feel obligated to present to you a recipe worth satisfying your craving on. Enjoy!
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz. unsweetened baker’s chocolate
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
In a double boiler, carefully melt the bakers chocolate. Be sure not to over heat, and stir continuously to prevent scorching or having the chocolate seize and become hard an dry. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl mix oil, melted chocolate, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Stir in eggs one at a time, then add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours. I know it seems like a long time but it will help with the crinkle effect in the cookie when baked.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray or parchment paper.
Remove the refrigerated dough, and begin to form into 1in. balls, roll in confectioners sugar (coating each cookie well) and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, and cool on wire racks. Makes 6 dozen cookies.
- A Chocoholic’s Dream Cookie (itssarahsplace.com)
- Best Dark Chocolate Chiquita Banana Muffins Recipe (chiquitabananas.com)
- Easy Chocolate Soufflé (thepapercupkitchen.com)