Monday, December 22, 2008

Two new cookies that I adore

One... have I told you lately how much I love to bake. Especially for
the holidays but I have to tell you that after a weekend of non-stop
gift making I have a bit of bakers burnout.

For our staff Cookie Exchange I tried two new cookie recipes from
my favorite cooking blog--- Smitten Kitchen (
and yet again I found two of the best tasting recipes. Please note that the
chocolate toffee cookie has 1 lb of chocolate.

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

Adapted from Bon Appetit

(Makes almost 8 dozen small cookies)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath),

coarsely chopped*
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir
chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water
until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5
minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Roll into small logs. I got

four out of my batter. Chill batter until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed
paper. Drop cut batter into ¼ inch slices, spacing two inches apart.
Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt, if you’re using it. Bake just
until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about
12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store
airtight at room temperature.)

Chocolate Espresso Shortbread

Makes 32 cookies
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon boiling water
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 3/4 cup store-bought
mini chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Dissolve the espresso in the boiling water, and set aside to cool to
2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment,
or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’
sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is
very smooth. Beat in the vanilla and espresso, then reduce the mixer speed
to low and add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the dough.
Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. Fold in the
chopped chocolate with a sturdy rubber spatula.
3. Using the spatula, transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size
zipper-lock plastic bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top
open, and roll the dough into a 9 x 10 1/2 inch rectangle that’s 1/4 inch
thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from
the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and
thickness, seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible, and
refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, or for up to 2 days.
4. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven
to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
5. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the firm
dough out onto the board (discard the bag) and, using a ruler as a guide
and a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the
squares to the baking sheets and carefully prick each one twice with a
fork, gently pushing the tines through the cookies until they hit the
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and
front to back at the midway point. The shortbreads will be very pale–they
shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack.
7. If you’d like, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar while they
are still hot. Cool the cookies to room temperature before serving.

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