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    Entries in epicness (10)

    Tuesday
    Jul092013

    Hot Chocolate Cookies

    And I mean hot.

    I've seen suggestions to add a pinch of hot chili pepper to hot chocolate more than a few times. Apparently the spice of the chili will emphasize the sweetness of the chocolate much like a pinch of salt can. The suggestion has been attributed to Mexican and other central and south American cuisines and I've been craving tacos like crazy lately. No, nothing related between the taco cravings and the chocolate-chili, it's just that I've been craving tacos and the mere mention of Mexican food makes me want to run down the street to the much too convenient little Mexican place and get 3 tacos for 5 bucks.

    I've been limiting myself to 3 tacos a week. Otherwise, I think I'd be eating there every night.

    But this post isn't about tacos (I want tacos). It's about summer-themed cookies.

    How is hot chocolate summer themed? It's summer, and it's hot. And I want chocolate.

    And since I'm inherently lazy I figured that rather than come up with a whole new recipe, I'd just modify an existing one. So I started with snickerdoodles. And you've got two choices to use as your base: my snickerdoodle recipe or Taneasha's snickerdoodle recipe. Both are awesome. Need moar snickerdoodles!

    Hot Chocolate Cookies

    • 1 c butter
    • 1 1/2 c sugar
    • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3 c flour
    • 1/2 c cocoa
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp cream of tartar
    • cinnamon sugar

    Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. If they're not, use one of Taneasha's awesome tips to fix that. Also, melt the chocolate. One minute and 30 seconds at 50% power, and then stir until it's smooth.

    Cream the butter and sugar until they're fluffy and golden, and then stir in the chocolate.

     Beat in the eggs and vanilla until you have something resembling a soft buttercream icing.

    In another bowl (yes, I used a second bowl, but I had an apprentice here to help me with the dishes;

    and she also brought me herbs from her garden!!) stir together the flour, cocoa, cayenne, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

    Since my apprentice is still working on the whole technique thing, she spooned the flour into the measuring cup and then levelled it with a knife.

    Don't forget to sift the cocoa to get all the lumps out.

    And yes, I'm serious, we are really putting cayenne in cookies.

    Mix the dry into the chocolatey-buttery stuff. We did it in about three parts.

    The dough should be soft and a little bit sticky.

    You should be able to form it into a ball with only minimal amounts sticking to your fingers.

    Give it a few minutes in the fridge if it feels too soft. It's better to chill the dough than to add extra flour; the cookies will be crumbly, rather than crispy-chewy if you have too much flour. You can wrap the dough and leave it in there for a day if you're planning ahead, but if you do, give it at least 30 minutes on the counter. If it's too cold, you'll need to put a lot of work into rolling the dough into balls, and since cookies are technically a pastry, you want to touch them as little as possible.

    Cold balls plus too much handling equals tough cookies.

    Preheat the oven now! 350.

    Bust off a piece of dough about the size of a cherry.

    Gently roll it into a ball, and then drop that ball into a small dish of cinnamon sugar.

    Jiggle the dish and roll the ball around until it's completely covered.

    Once you've done that a dozen times, and have a dozen sugary balls on a parchment covered sheet, bake them for 8 minutes.

    Keep an eye on them. It's tough to tell when these things are overdone because the chocolate is so dark, but you'll definitely taste it if they are. Err on the side of underdone. Use a timer!

    I was hopeful that these would work and holy crap did they ever! Chocolate chili cookies are total win. They aren't "hot" and spicy the way a savoury food is hot. They have their own shiney little bite. But it's a transient and sparkly feeling in your mouth. Like the sparks off a campfire: bright and a little bit burny, but they don't linger.

    And with the sugar on the outside of them, they even look a little sparkly!

    Perfect with an iced coffee!

    What do you like to have hot in the summer??

     

    Tuesday
    May212013

    Snickerdoodles!

    No, that's not me finding creative ways to swear without swearing. (why the fuck would I do that?)

    It's cookies!

    In addition to these being one of Recipe Guy's favourite cookies (which means I will be making them again in a few months), I had a request for these at work. Yup, I'm back to work full time, which means the cookie request board is back in business.

    Snickerdoodles are a variation on a sugar cookie. They have a slightly softer dough than typical sugar cookies, and because of that they aren't rolled flat and cut. They're rolled into balls and allowed to flatten all on their own. They're also covered in cinnamon sugar. Anything covered in cinnamon sugar is awesome. Even toast.

    The one distinct difference between snickerdoodles and other sugar cookies is the leavener. Snickerdoodles use cream of tartar in place of the baking powder.

    Cream of tartar is actually a component of baking powder, but the use of it straight to react with the baking soda results in a cookie that puffs up beautifully in the oven, breaking the sugared top and creating that lovely crackled look.

    They fall a bit as the air trapped inside them cools and decreases in volume, minimizing the cracked look, but they'll stay nice and soft inside. Soft chewy middle, crispy crackled outside, and covered in cinnamon sugar like some kind of perfect cookie version of a breakfast doughnut...

    Snickerdoodles

    • 1 c butter
    • 1 1/2 c sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 2-1/2 to 3 c flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp cream of tartar
    • cinnamon sugar

    Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. If they're not, use one of Taneasha's awesome tips to fix that.

    Cream the butter and sugar until they're fluffy and golden.

    Beat in the eggs and vanilla until you have something resembling a soft buttercream icing.

    Dump in 2-1/2 cups of flour, and then top with the baking soda and cream of tartar. Give the dry stuff a gentle stir before mixing it into the wet stuff. Once you've got the flour mixed in, decide if you need any of that remaining cup.

    The dough should be soft and a little bit sticky.

    You should be able to form it into a ball with only minimal amounts sticking to your fingers.

    Wrap the almost sticky dough in plastic and let it chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. You can leave it in there for a day if you're planning ahead, but if you do, give it at least 30 minutes on the counter. If it's too cold, you'll need to put a lot of work into rolling the dough into balls, and since cookies are technically a pastry, you want to touch them as little as possible.

    Cold balls plus too much handling equals tough cookies.

    Preheat the oven now! 350.

    Bust off a piece of dough about the size of a cherry.

    Gently roll it into a ball, and then drop that ball into a small dish of cinnamon sugar.

    Jiggle the dish and roll the ball around until it's completely covered.

    Once you've done that a dozen times, and have a dozen sugary balls on a parchment covered sheet, bake them for 8 to 10 minutes.

    (It took a lot of restraint to not eat these things! Holy crap I need to make some kind of no bake doughnut hole cookie!)

    Mine needed only 8.

    These things are freaking amazing. I've already packed them up to take to work because if I didn't I'd probably eat a dozen between now and then. Mostly now.

    What's your favourite cookie?