A cure for persistent cookies

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Cookies are small bundles of information stored on a computer's hard drive. News to me.

I think of cookies as small bundles of butter and flour stored in a tin and downloaded, frequently.

Apparently cookies do annoying things like traipse around the Internet, snooping. Which is why many a savvy consumer installs a cookie blocker.

Denying access to cookies, or to certain cookies. A sound idea over the holidays, when cookies appear on every platform — work, school, gym and dentist's lair. The internal browser can't help but find gingerboy, raspberry thumbprint, coconut bar, almond horn and wintermint bark. A condition the search engine terms "persistent cookies."

Cookie-handling instructions begin: Delete all cookies previously installed. If only! Then, set the browser to accept only good cookies.

Like Danielle's chocolate smooches. They're truffles, in cookie form. They melt on contact. Each little lump is so chocolate-suffused and butter-blessed that no user could consider it a nuisance. Frankly, any browser directed to block this cookie would exercise artificial intelligence and refuse.

Chocolate smooches

Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Bake: 10 minutes per batch
Makes: About 5 dozen

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa ("natural," not Dutch processed)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Tumble 1 cup chocolate chips, the unsweetened chocolate and the butter into a mixing bowl. Zap briefly and stir until melted. Let cool.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt.

Use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat sugar, eggs and vanilla pale and frothy, about 2 minutes.

Scrape in melted chocolate; mix on low. Add flour; mix on low. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips.

Cover and chill firm, about 1 hour.

Use a 1 1/4-inch diameter ice-cream scoop (or a heaping teaspoon) to shape small balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Slide sheets into a 350-degree oven and bake until puffed and set – but still soft in the center – about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Enjoy, with holidays.

From my friend Danielle, who in 2000 snipped it out of Gourmet, which got the recipe from reader Ann Bolger. Lightly adapted.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com.

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