chewy chocolate savannah cookies from scratch baking co.

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When I knew I’d be making an early springtime trip to Portland, Maine, I called my friend Rachel, a true gourmand who spends every summer there. She had a great list of advice and fantastic spots for me to try, including this tantalizing bit: “Scratch Baking Co., across the bridge in South Portland. Out of the way but the best bagels you will ever eat.” Not just the best I’ve had so far, but the best I’ll ever have. Who could pass that up? What I discovered at Scratch Baking Co., in addition to, yes, the best bagels I will ever have (long-risen, hot from the oven, crisp and chewy, sprinkled with sea salt harvested from the cold waters of Casco Bay), was an array of tender, melting shortbread, generous slices of cake, abundant rustic loaves of rye and seeded bread, perfect baguettes, buttery cookies, dense, dark chocolate brownies, and chewy, coconut-y macaroons. In other words, heaven. I’d called co-owner Bob Johnson earlier to say we’d be coming in with our cameras and questions, and he invited me to come early Saturday morning, because “that’s when the party really happens.” A generous, open-hearted spirit wafts through the air at Scratch (along with the warm scents of butter, cinnamon, chocolate and baking bread), and that comes straight from all three owners, who are dedicated to creating a true community bakery, where neighbors greet neighbors and everyone is welcomed with a sense of abundance and cheer. Further evidence of this generosity is apparent in the partners’ publication of Baker’s Notes, a series of recipe journals with beautiful photographs and detailed instructions for recreating the most delicious of Scratch Baking Co.’s offerings (including, yes, the bagels). “Oh, thank God,” I thought when Bob put the stack of them in my hands, because the idea of leaving this special place so far behind was heartbreaking. I made these cookies last week and felt warm and welcomed all over again.

(want more? here’s an interview with Scratch Baking Co.’s Bob Johnson)

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Scratch Baking Co.’s Savannah Cookies (aka Chocolate Chewies)

from Baker’s Notes :: Issue No. 4 :: Cookies

2 c walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
¼ c cocoa nibs
2 ½ c powdered sugar, sifted
½ c cocoa powder, sifted
4 egg whites, very lightly beaten, just to loosen up
1 Tbs vanilla
½ tsp salt, optional (I like a little salt with my chocolate)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until the powdered sugar dissolves. Let dough sit for
20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. You’ll want to bake these cookies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment
paper or on a non-stick baking mat. (In a pinch, you can grease the cookie sheet, but they won’t
turn out as well.) Bake 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even browning.

The centers should still be soft, but the edges will be firm and crispy

(order Baker’s Notes here.)

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2 Responses to “chewy chocolate savannah cookies from scratch baking co.”

    • Elizabeth Winslow

      They’re pretty amazing–I have all the Baker’s Notes if you want to borrow them (cardamom & lemon sugar cookies!).


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