Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Favorite Holiday (or anytime) Cookie: Can you say chocolate?
By now you’ve probably finished your holiday baking and shopping, but if you’re like me, you’re still scrambling to get it all done. So here’s a killer cookie recipe that will wow your friends and family. (This isn’t unique to the Pacific Northwest except that we love good chocolate and cookies.)
Over the years I’ve pared my holiday baking down to just this favorite cookie: chocolate cinnamon pepper. Think rich and chocolately, with a hint of fire and spice that adds a complex, sophisticated twist. I have friends who remind me to include these in their gifts each holiday season.
This is adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart’s Christmas book (I wonder how long it will take them to find this blog and demand that I cease and desist…. I had hoped to just provide a link to her website, but this recipe isn’t there. But you can buy the book by clicking on the link above! It's full of wonderful recipes and ideas.)
Chocolate Cinnamon Pepper Cookies
Cream together 1.5 cups unsalted butter and 1.5 cups sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Then add in two lightly beaten eggs and beat thoroughly.
Sift 3 cups unbleached flour, 1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and stir until well mixed.
Flatten into a round shape, wrap in clear plastic or waxed paper, and chill in the ‘fridge for an hour or more. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Divide the dough into four and keep in the fridge while you roll out a quarter of it on a well-floured board. When the dough is about 1/8-inch thick, cut the dough with your favorite cookie cutter shapes. I usually go with an elegant, simple circle for ease of handling and packing as gifts.
Place cookies at least an inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t darken on the bottoms. Cool on racks.
Melt about 6 ounces good quality dark cooking chocolate (I use Callebaut from Big John’s PFI in Seattle) in a double boiler over medium heat. When liquid, drizzle over the cooled cookies. OR simply dip half the cookie into the melted chocolate, then place on a cool cookie sheet covered with waxed paper to dry thoroughly.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen. These cookies freeze well. I usually make a double batch because I end up giving most of them away as gifts.
Enjoy and happy holidays!