Hacker Tracker Cookies

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Many, many moons ago, my husband was at a technical conference for his job.  One of the guest speakers at said conference was Cliff Stoll, an astronomer turned systems manager at Berkeley who found a computer hacker in their system. 

He related his story to the attendees, and also had his book, The Cuckoo’s Egg, for sale about his experience hunting down the hacker.  My husband bought a copy, read it, and then it sat on our bookshelf…for many, many years.

What do cookies have to do with this you ask?  I’m getting there….

So anyway, now with getting ready to move, we’re starting to declutter, give things away and pack things up.  We started boxing up some of our books, and my husband takes The Cuckoo’s Egg off the shelf and tells me I should read it before we give it away for someone else to read.  I really didn’t have a lot of interest in it, but decided I’d give it a fair shot since my husband will often take my advice on what to read next.

As I write this post I’m still in the process of reading it, and am surprised at how engaging I’m actually finding it. And here’s where the cookies come in.

Cliff Stoll is trying to track down this computer hacker that has made himself a super-user on the Berkeley system.  One of the ways he is attempting to do that is through a phone trace, and analyzing phone calls from long distance call logs.  He explains that this shouldn’t be that difficult to do, as he and his 4 housemates do it all the time.  They each make a portion of a meal and then divvy up the phone bill by claiming the long distance calls they made.  Cliff’s contribution to the meal….chocolate chip cookies, which he so kindly in a footnote left a recipe for.

I was to say the least…intrigued.  I modified it just a bit (substituted margarine for butter and increased the brown sugar and dropped the white sugar), and have to say, Cliff, the hacker tracker, well he makes good cookies.  And Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies just wasn’t a catchy recipe name, so I dubbed them:

Hacker Tracker Cookies
as inspired by Cliff Stoll from The Cuckoo’s Egg

Hacker Tracker Cookies

• 2 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
• 2 sticks softened margarine
• 2 1/4 cups flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 2 tbsp vanilla
• 3 tbsp cocoa
• 2 cups chocolate chips

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Cream eggs, sugar and margarine together.

• Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and cocoa

• Stir in chocolate chips

• Drop by tablespoonful on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Rest on pan for 5 minutes once removed from oven, and then cool completely on a rack.

Makes approximately 3 dozen, 3″ cookies.

* The vanilla amount in the recipe is correct.  It’s a lot compared to most cookie recipes, all I can say though is these cookies are yum.  If you make Tollhouse Cookies, you’ll notice the recipe is very similar, it uses white sugar as well but the added cocoa and the increased vanilla make a tasty change to it.

To see more of Tammy Litke‘s dessert recipes click here.  This post contains affiliate links.

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