Chocolate can be medicinal – right?

According to one of those “every day is a sort of holiday” websites, the week of March 19-25, 2023 is American Chocolate Week. I wish I could give you an exact date on when this “holiday” came into existence.
However, there has always been a celebration of chocolate, whether worldwide, national, or one particular country altogether since it was first created.
It began, according to written history, in the 15th century when explorers from Europe, mainly Spain, came to the new world.
The Mayans were using cocoa beans to create a drink, but the explorers mistook them as almonds. Bringing them back to Europe, those who ate the beans were given a huge dose of “bitter almonds” but thankfully not of cyanide.
As explorers continued into other countries throughout South America, sources for the cocoa beans were found. The local native populations were able to teach the explorers how to process the beans and create a drink.
Good thing sugar cane was also discovered in the Caribbean Isles. It helped sweeten the bitter concoction.
Cooks in various countries played with the beans by adding not just sugar, but other flavorings also, and begin to create chocolate candies, confections, and baked goods. In 1904 “How to Cook for the Sick and Convalescent” by Helena Viola Sachse was published and it contained recipes for chocolate drinks that would help ease symptoms of illnesses and diseases.
Can chocolate really heal the sick? Medically speaking, no. But it does have a sort of mind-altering affect that is soothing and simply makes us feel happy. When it comes to illness, do we not often hear that attitude goes a long way in the healing process?
Easter will soon be celebrated, and chocolate is a huge bonus gifted to children. But adults indulge just as well. Oh yes. Hardboiled eggs with colored shells go into baskets. But it’s the peanut butter or coconut cream eggs that are so much tastier in my opinion. Of course they are. They’re encased in chocolate!
So, here is a short recipe I tried recently for Three-Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cookies. They’re sort of like meringues, but baked at a higher temperature and chewy. I had a few guinea pigs try them out.
They had their reservations on the “only three ingredients” theme, but the consensus was, “so good!” By the way, since they’re flourless, folks with gluten allergies can enjoy them. Also, confectioner sugar substitute products (Swerve or Truvia) can be used for regular powdered sugar.
This recipe does not contain any type of fat or dairy, and since many vegetarians eat eggs, the egg whites are acceptable, especially as a source of protein.
Three-Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Ingredients: ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 cups powdered sugar, or a substitute product, 4 large egg whites
Preparation: Preheat oven to 325F, line two baking pan/sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and powdered sugar to evenly combine, and break up any lumps. Whisk in egg whites until batter is smooth. The batter will also be gooey and sticky, so have a rubber spatula ready to help remove batter from the whisk.
Using a cookie scoop, or a tablespoon, space out, 2-inches apart, 12 rounded out portions onto each baking pan/sheet. That rubber spatula will come in handy for removing the batter from the scoop or spoon. Bake for 14 – 18 minutes; cookies are done when they are puffed up, have a shiny, yet crusty surface. Remove from oven and let cookies cool off completely on the baking pans/sheets. If you remove while still, even slightly, warm, they will fall apart.
The first two days, the cookies will be crunchy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. By the third day, the outside will still be crunchy, the interior will be gooier, but still delicious. So, storage is basically three days in an airtight container, but they won’t last that long anyway.
Recipe makes two dozen cookies.

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