Posted by: Brian on |
Try to say this post title five times, swiftly. Heck, just one swiftly. But Santa is packing up the sleigh and deservedly should be given treats on his journey. These cookies would be your best contribution to his busy night.
In 1978 I bought a copy of Chocolate Cookery by Mable Hoffman, published by HPBooks. It was, is, a big oversized cookbook. I was so naïve I did not know that “Cookery” meant this was a British spin the world’s favorite food.
I still have my copy. I don’t know where it is. But I do know the key recipe: Chocolate Crinkles. To find the recipe for this season, I googled and found many recipes. The one below, from King Arthur Flour, is very close to the original. It uses butter, not oil [God only knows why people bake with oil]. And, very importantly, this calls for refrigerating the cookie dough for hours, if not overnight.
These little buds of flavor are soft, tender, succulent and a necessity for life.
I, of course, was prepared to make them end-to-end but when it came to scooping out the dough, rolling in powdered sugar, and getting a perfect shape, Suzen had a comment: “I’ll do it.”
It seems that she thinks that I am sloppy in the kitchen. It’s almost Christmas. I let her have her way. I let her get her hands sticky with dough. Let her lick her fingers. Let her lick the powdered sugar that clung to the dough on those fingers. Let her do it all.
It’s better to give than receive. Although, at this jealous moment, I do have some other considerations. This is a perfect cookie to make with your kids. It teaches them patience: you have to refrigerate that dough. It teaches them dexterity: they have to roll the balls of dough [or shake them] in powdered sugar. It teaches them sanitary skills: they have to lick their fingers.
As a former teacher, Suzen agrees.
Kris Kringles Christmas Chocolate Crinkles
Yield: about 4-5+ dozen depending on big you make them [smaller is better]
- 1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cups (7 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- confectioners’ sugar* (for coating)
For the dough, place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, and heat or microwave till the butter melts. Remove it from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla and espresso powder. Stir in the chocolate mixture, baking powder and salt, then the flour. Chill the dough for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight; it’ll firm up considerably.
To shape the cookies, put about a cup of confectioners’ sugar into a shallow bowl. Using a teaspoon-sized cookie scoop, a spoon, or your fingers, scoop out heaping “teaspoon-sized” portions of the dough; they should be roughly 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Drop the dough balls into the confectioners’ sugar as you go. Once about five or six are in the bowl, shake and toss the bowl to coat the balls with the sugar. (If you try to do this with too many balls at a time, they’ll just stick together.)
To bake the cookies, place the coated dough balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between them. Bake the cookies in a preheated 325°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, switching the position of the pans (top to bottom, and front to back) midway through the baking time. As the cookies bake, they’ll flatten out and acquire their distinctive “streaked” appearance. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 60mm Macro lens, F/2.6 at 1/20th second and ISO 2000Source: King Arthur Flour and Mable Hoffman
Posted by: Brian on |
I’ve posted before a recipe called Nuni’s No-Bake Cookies. Stashed in the middle of Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten, this recipe was one I remembered from childhood. I had lost the recipe but not the memories.
Once I had Cookie Time, I made and made these treats. But, I made just them. I would not deviate from the original recipe. I was tempted, but always paused and went vanilla. Well, chocolate and vanilla.
I finally summoned up the courage and played with the recipe. I credit Marilyn for inspiration but I’m going to take credit for this variation. To the original recipe, I add chopped pecans and espresso powder. The result? Well, take a look. It’s richer with those coffee overtones so many of us love.
One slight caveat. When you make this and add espresso powder, there is clearly some chemical reaction. The boiling liquid that is mixed with the oats behaves differently. It takes longer for these cookies to set up. I’m going to continue experimenting, adding another 1/2 cup of oats. If these cookies seem “limpy” to you, find a cool space. Even your fridge for a few moments. Just to give the cookies a “cold shock.” Once they do set up, they are smooth to the bite. The only challenge is to stop with one, or two, or …
Brian’s No-Bake Coffee Drops
Yield: about 40 cookies
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 3 cups uncooked quick rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Place the sugar, butter, cocoa, milk and espresso powder into a saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.
In a large metal bowl, place the oats, vanilla and pecans. Pour the boiling sugar mixture over the oats. Stir to mix thoroughly. The mixture will begin but thicken as you do.
Drop by spoonfulls [a tablespoon in size] onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information: Canon T2i with EFS 18-55 Maco lens at F/2.8 for 1/64th second at ISO 3200
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