Monday, November 28, 2005
Cookies cookies cookies.....
I think I am still in a fog from turkey weekend, so I will post my entries for IMBB/Sugar High Friday cookie swap and save you all from my lame commentary about cookies! I made Chewy Pecan Diamonds, Jam Thumbprint Cookies and Chocolate Crackle Cookies. The jam thumbprint ones were my favorite. My coworkers, however, unanimously agreed that the Chewy Pecan Diamonds were the best. I guess it's just a matter of taste- I love shortbread and the thumbprints are basically that + fruit. I adapted a recipe from Epicurious- the original recipe says to make the indentation, then bake, then fill with jam. I like the chewy consistency that jam gets when baked, so I put the jam into the raw cookie and then baked. I also rolled the dough balls in egg whites and then crushed almonds for a little extra crunch. The combo of the tart jam, crunchy nuts and buttery cookie is truly magical. The pecan bars were simply too sweet and gooey for my taste, but they'll probably be a hit with the crowd. Not that my coworkers are very picky- if you bake it, they will come. I also had some puff pastry in the freezer so I made some mini palmiers just for fun. Enjoy!
Chewy Pecan Diamonds
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil. Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in processor. Add butter and process until mixture begins to clump together. Press dough evenly onto bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake crust until set and light golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand while preparing topping. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Topping: Stir brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Add pecans and cream; boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour hot topping over warm crust.
Bake nut-topped crust until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool completely in pan (topping will harden). Lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using heavy sharp knife, cut crust with nut topping into 1 1/2x1-inch diamonds. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)
Makes about 32.
From: Bon Appétit December 1999
Chewy Pecan Diamonds, Chocolate Crackle Cookie, Jam Thumbprint Cookie
JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons (about) jam or jelly (I used cherry preserves from Trader Joe's)
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt. Add flour in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather dough together in bowl to bind dough. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball into the egg white and then roll in crushed almonds. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Using finger, make deep indentation in center of each ball. Spoon a teaspoon of jam into the indentations.
Bake cookies until firm to touch and golden on bottom, about 22 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will soften slightly.)
Makes about 36.
Adapted from: Bon AppétitFlavors of the World August 1999
Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 up Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool. Into a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and light-brown sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Mix on low speed until just combined. Divide dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. On a surface dusted with confectioners' sugar, use your hands to roll each portion of dough into a log 16 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss pieces in confectioners’ sugar, a few at a time. Using your hands, roll the pieces into balls. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners’ sugar again to coat completely. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have flattened and sugar splits, 12 to 15 minutes.
4. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
From: Martha Stewart Online