When I was growing up, everyone in my family could cook or bake or do both, equally well. We weren’t fancy cooks or bakers, just good at comfort foods and family favorites. One of the family faves was “Triple Chocolate Doodles” that my grandmother baked. As I grew older, I realized it was actually a variation of the “Snickerdoodle,” a vanilla flavored cookie dough, soft enough to drop from a teaspoon, onto a cookie sheet. Snickerdoodles were good too, but if your tummy had a craving for chocolate, then the Triple Chocolate Doodles filled the bill.
The problem is, Grandma didn’t have a written recipe for this family favorite. It was made so often, the recipe was engraved on her brain. It wasn’t exactly a real recipe when Grandma would show her grand-daughters, “Now, a chunk of butter like this, a couple of large eggs, a dollop of vanilla, cups of flour plus a smidge, until the dough feels right. . . .” and as she was talking, my tiny grandma would be beating the life out of the butter and eggs. Fry’s cocoa powder played a huge part in the recipe as well as lots of chocolate chips. When the cookies were hot out of the oven and cooling on the racks, Grandma would add the finishing touch by drizzling melted dark chocolate over each doodle.
Every time Grandma made these, they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious and absolutely fail-proof. It didn’t matter if you asked what precise measurement would make a “chunk” or how much exactly was a “dollop?” After all, it had to be the same every time because scientifically, a more or less difference in chunks or dollops would produce a less than perfect triple chocolate doodle, right? At least, that was my logical reasoning. And another thing, when does the dough feel right?
Well, I just figured out the secret of the family recipe–precise amounts of ingredients won’t work. Throw logic out the window. Go with the chunks, dollops and smidges. Add lots of chocolate and a heaping amount of love. Triple Chocolate Doodles are still a winner and absolutely fail-proof when you use “Grandma’s recipe” with her own special measurements.