Monday, March 29, 2010

double-chocolate craisin cookies

the goods:

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 10 ounces chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in melted chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in 6 ounces chocolate and craisins.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls (I use a small ice-cream scoop), 3 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake until edges are dry and tops are cracked, 15 to 17 minutes.

Let stand on sheet 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are baked.

Monday, March 22, 2010

jam-filled cream cheese cookies

the goods:

8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 ans 1/2 cups jam, jelly, or preserves

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, add flour and salt; beat until combined (do not overmix).

Divide dough into 2 portions; flatten each into a disk. Roll each disk to an 1/8-inch thickness between sheets of parchment paper. Stack dough (still in parchment); refrigerate 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon water. Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, peel off parchment (save for baking). With a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies.

Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam into center of each and brush exposed dough with egg wash.

Fold each point of the star into the center, pressing gently to adhere; arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Brush tops of cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

chocolate truffles

the goods:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 and 2/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
sugar, confectioners' sugar, or raw sugar for coating

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until it begins to simmer; pour over chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes. Uncover and whisk chocolate mixture until smooth.

Whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and let cool 15 minutes. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until completely set, about 3 hours.

With a melon baller, scoop out chocolate mixture and place on parchment paper. Refrigerate until set, 15 minutes.

Place sugar in a small bowl. Rolls truffles in sugar, nuts, sprinkles, or any other desired toppings.

Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, March 8, 2010

peppermint fudge

the goods:

2 and 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup round peppermint candies
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with two pieces parchment paper in both directions, leaving 2 inches overhang on all sides; spray parchment. Place chocolate in a bowl.

In a food processor, pulse candies until finely chopped.

In a medium saucepan, combine candies, cream, marshmallows, butter, sugar, and salt over medium-high.

Stir until smooth, 5 minutes.

Pour mixture through a strainer into bowl with chocolate.

Let stand 1 minute.

Stir until smooth.

Pour into baking pan and refrigerate until set, 3 hours.

Lift parchment from pan and place fudge brick on a cutting board.

Cut into little cubes.

To store, place parchment or wax paper on the bottom of a tupperware and arrange fudge, layer with more parchment, separating layers.