Posted by: Brian on |
Suzen walked past me, a half eaten cookie in her raised hand
“You must like them,” I said. “That’s your second one.”
“You can blog these,” she replied, turned around, devoured the rest of the second, and picked up the third.
Suzen is not a cookie person. Not really a dessert person. Over 20+ years, I appear to finally have had some impact on her.
This is a very good cookie, a great cookie. It’s right out of Crazy About Cookies, a new work by Krystina Castella, an accomplished cookbook author. This book is filled with new flavors, new shapes, and new ways to present cookies — you’ll see some more ideas from her soon on this blog.
I’ve got a particular fondness for icebox cookies. They are a test of patience: you make the dough but have to freeze it for hours before slicing it and finally baking. I’ve never made a batch that did not need an early slice or two just to check the quality of the dough. Trust me, this dough tastes fabulous. Okay, don’t trust me: find out for yourself!
Milk chocolate is a favorite of mine — it’s the chocolate I grew up on, daily. If you go to Great Britain, you can get decent milk chocolate there, too — think Cadbury. Cross the English Channel, mention “milk chocolate” and you risk being frisked, interrogated, and sent back as a peasant. Europeans love their chocolate dark, lightly sweetened at best, and never contaminated. I know, milk chocolate was invented by Henri Nestle in Europe but it was Milton S. Hershey in Pennsylvania who was the driving force.
Hershey style milk chocolate is said, by Europeans, to have a distinctively sour taste. They hate it. And that partiality has influenced their preferences for “pure” chocolate. Which in turn means they discount the creation of their own Nestle figure.
Thank God for the Atlantic Ocean. These cookies have a milk chocolate base topped with milk chocolate glaze. The cookies are thin, soft — almost chewy — and mellow in flavor. It’s the milk chocolate.
What milk chocolate to use? I stand by Trader Joe’s house brand which has a very pure flavor, no hint of any latent Hershey sour taint, and is very easy to work with.
If you like chocolate chip cookies or brownies, but want something wonderful and different, then this is the cookie.
One note. The recipe for the glaze below has been modified by adding some cream and corn syrup. I think the book has a misprint because when I used the original proportions there was too much sugar, not enough liquid, and I had mortar, not glaze. My modification below should give you plenty of glaze for the cookies. Some for your finger, too.
Milk Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Yield: about 50 cookies
- 4 ounces milk chocolate
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup [1 ½ sticks] butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulate sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
- 3 ounces milk chocolate
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium blow. Set aside
Beat the butter and sugars in a large blow until fluffy. Add the whole egg and the vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until blended.
Divide the dough in half. Shape the dough into logs, 2 inches wide by 9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Unwrap the logs and let them soften a bit. Cut into slices about 1/3 inch thick and place on a cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. These cookies spread out so separate them by at least 1 ½ inches. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Then glaze the cookies.
Melt the milk chocolate and butter together in a double boiler. Add the first ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and whisk in. Add the heavy cream and corn syrup and whisk in. Gradually add the remaining sugar, whisking all the time. You may not need the entire remaining 1 cup of sugar. Get at smooth, flowing consistency that you can glaze with. If the mixture becomes too stiff, thin with more cream.
To do the glazing, simple drizzle over the cookies, or fill a zip lock bag with glaze, snip off one end of the bag to form a tip, and decorate to your heart’s content.
Source: Hot Chocolate: Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella
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