Friday, February 25, 2011

White Chocolate Kiss Cookies

When it comes to chocolate, there are many differences in flavor and texture according to the brand and the percentage of cocoa.  Some people feel that white chocolate is not really chocolate at all.  It is actually made up of mostly cocoa butter.  Regardless of the brand, it is important that you use a good quality chocolate when baking.  One of the major things to avoid is chocolate that contains coconut or palm kernel oil.

This particular cookie recipe has melted white chocolate in the batter and a dark chocolate kiss on top.  The cookie texture resembles a shortbread.  The sweetness comes from the chocolate, so very little sugar is used in the batter.

I made several dozen of these cookies instead of just 2, so there was variation from the original instructions.  Below is the recipe as stated with my modifications at the end.  One thing to remember is not to over bake.  The cookies are white and brown very little on the edges.

White Chocolate Kisses
adapted from Chocolate Christmas Cookbook

24 Hershey Kisses (milk or dark chocolate)
2 eggs, room temperature
6 oz white chocolate (chips or chopped pieces)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz or 2 sticks of butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 tbs granulated sugar
1 tbs confectioners sugar (optional for dusting)
2 cups flour

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap all chocolate kisses and place in a bowl and put in fridge until ready to use. Unwrapping at the time you are ready to top the cookies may cause little foil pieces to get on your cookie batter.

Put the butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl and cream all ingredients together with an electric mixer. As you beat the mixture, stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  It should take about 5 minutes for the mixer to create a smooth creamy batter.

Then add the eggs, one by one, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Then beat for an additional minute and scrape down sides of bowl.  The batter will now resemble scrambled eggs.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Fill bottom of double boiler with water and place on stove set at high.  Place top pan over bottom of boiler and fill with chocolate.  Melt chocolate, stirring once in a while as it melts.  The melting process should take about 5 minutes.

I have never found white chocolate to be the same consistency of other chocolates when melted. It still remains quite thick and not pourable when melted, so if yours is the same do not worry.  The thick consistency has no negative impact on the cookie taste or texture.

Add the white chocolate and vanilla extract to the batter.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds, stopping at 10 second intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer. Then add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until no dry ingredients remain.

Place heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.  There should be 12 cookies on each sheet placed evenly apart.  Take out the chocolate kisses from the fridge and put one on each cookie.  The kiss should be centered and pressed 1/4 of the way into the dough.

Put baking sheets into oven, one on top and one on center rack.  Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets and switch racks.  Then bake for an additional 7 minutes.  Remove and leave on baking sheets to cool.  As an option, after cooling, dust the cookies with confectioner's sugar.

Variations when Making more than 2 dozen:
      -bake one pan at a time at 325 degrees for 16 minutes rotating sheet after 8 minutes
      -wait until pan is cool prior to 2nd use
      -wipe down both sides of parchment paper and pan with a paper towel before 2nd use
      -do not sprinkle cookies with confectioner's sugar if shipping or storing.
     - 1 12 oz bag of chocolate kisses is enough for 6 dz cookies.