Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I have a huge bag of dutch processed cocoa.  I think purely the description won me over when I saw it.." luminous, intense red and very flavorful".  The bag is so big it always beckons when I open the cabinet.

My first source in order to find a recipe using this ingredient is a cookbook called Flour.  This particular cookbook makes note that all recipes that have cocoa as a ingredient actually call for Dutch processed.  None of them call for natural cocoa.  However, nothing there appealed to me so I cracked open the Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook.

I found a recipe for a big tasty chocolate cookie.  The flavor was very rich, but in my book the rich taste of chocolate never has its limits.  As far as the texture, the day these are baked they are crisp on the outside and every so chewy on the inside.  Probably very close to a brownie.  However, the down side is that the texture is not everlasting.  I brought them to work and they were very crumbly.  That did not phase the chocolate eaters, for they popped them in the microwave to warm them up which brought all that texture right back.

The recipe does say they last only for 2 days at room temp, so these are not ones to sit in the cookie jar to eat now as well as later.  That is, if you have an aversion to the step of reheating them in the microwave. This recipe makes eight cookies about 3-4 inches in diameter

Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 1 stick of baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (melted and cooled)
1 egg
1/2 unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, salt , baking powder and cocoa.  Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the melted shortening and mix on medium speed until blended.  For a final 45 seconds, beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Then using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold the sifted ingredients into the wet batter in increments.  Mixing in about 1/3 of the dry ingredients in each increment.  Finish blending in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture, making sure no dry streaks remain.  Drop by scoops evenly onto the baking sheet.  There should be 4 scoops per pan, each dough lump being about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and sitting on the pan 4 inches apart from each other.

Place pan in oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, rotating pan at the halfway mark.  The edges will be crisp when done.  Remove pan from oven and transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
                               **LAST YEAR: Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes**