Sunday, November 24, 2013

We Should Cocoa Challenge #39: Cookies

Every month on the We Should Cocoa challenge run by Choclette over at Chocolate Log Blog there is a different ingredient pairing or type of dish that we are invited to make. The only proviso is that it must include chocolate and for this month the challenge has been set by guest blogger BakenQuilt and it is 'Cookies with Chocolate'.

Now it may only be November but for me and many others there is a lot of Christmas preparation already underway and I really enjoy the pre-Christmas baking in the lead up to the big day. In particular I have long admired the American tradition of Christmas cookie exchanges and the amazing array of Scandinavian cookies that are baked and consumed in such generous quantities each advent. Many Christmas cookies do not include chocolate but there is one cookie that to me looks particularly festive and fits the criteria for this We Should Cocoa challenge perfectly and it is the Chocolate Crackle Cookie.

I have a wonderful book full of festive cookie recipes written by Rose Levy Berabaum called Roses Christmas Cookies and I use the Linzer cookie recipe in there often, but for this challenge I have hopped over to a very fine blog that I have long admired called dailydelicious. This blog is a wonderful source of inspiration for all manner of baked goods and the cookie section alone could keep me busy for weeks.

Please skip over to the blog itself for the recipe where you will find clear instructions and some useful step by step photos. The only modification I made to the chocolate crackles recipe was at the end.  The author has the raw cookie balls rolled in both granular and icing sugar before baking but I just rolled mine in icing sugar.  This is purely personal preference as I am not fond of the texture of gritty sugar. I used a 70% cocoa solids chocolate and a premium cocoa powder that is relatively high in cocoa butter. These no doubt added to the intensity of the flavour. The cookie dough is relatively soft and I found it useful to portion the dough with a small diameter ice-cream scoop. You want to keep the cookie balls even in size for an even bake.

The baked cookies have a crisp outer shell and a melting centre, not too sweet and not cloying either. Totally delicious and perfect with a coffee or perhaps a glass of mulled wine.

I still have a lot of Christmas baking to go but earlier in the month I baked my xmas linzer cookies from Rose's Christmas Cookies:

And also some chocolate hazelnut kisses which are really little more than a nutty meringue sandwiched together with a hazelnut praline ganache:

So Happy Christmas baking from my Devon kitchen.