Sunday, December 04, 2005
Chocolate "To-Die-For" Cookies
Last night I was in a particularly zen-like state while cooking and baking, and yet I still managed a wee faux pas. There I was, in my frilly cocktail apron and glamour heels, hair upswept, and feeling sassy (smug?) that despite having made a feast in a short span of time, I was still ready to receive guests. All that was left on my list were these little babies.
The rich and darkly-glossy chocolate cookie batter was mixed and elegantly dropped onto buttered up cookie sheets, gracefully popped into the oven, and my (vital heartbeat) timer was set. I was a minute or two into my clean up, and three sips into my bourbon when I saw it there on the table, a gleaming bowl of...flour. The flour that was supposed to be in the batter. In a barely controlled frenzy, I threw open the oven, yanked out the pans, grabbed a flat spoon and scrapped the flourless cookies into the much needed flour itself. A few quick turns of the spoon, scrub of the cookie sheets and they were back in the oven. Astonishingly, the problem was solved and no harm was done. The tragic part of course is that I hadn't even noticed the batter was even remotely off, or possibly missing something. In retrospect, I should have baked one off flourless, just to see, but then again, that may have resulted in one less cookie!
I wouldn't have bothered for any other cookie, but these, these were the one, the only, Chocolate To Die For cookies. (Loosly adapted from the fantastic San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook. I couldn't resist keeping the name though!) Just the most sincerely, appropriately named cookies of all time, that's all. In keeping with my adoration of all things spicy and sweet, the not-so-secret ingredient in these babies is a smidge of black pepper and cayenne.
The subtle heat doesn't hit you (and when it does its quite mild really) until the very end, after you have tasted the dense complexity from high quality (Fair Trade!) chocolate, the slightly chewy Kahlua soaked currents (I have used raisins before too, and they work just fine) and the creamy smooth chocolate chips. They go particularly well with White Russians, Godiva Cocktails and of course Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate. Another grown up sweet that will leave you wanting just one more. Try these, and enjoy.
3/4 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons Frangelico or Kahlua
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. dark chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
a few grinds of black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with buttered parchment paper, or use a non-stick baking mat.
In a small saucepan, combine the currants and Kahlua and warm over low heat for a few minutes. Turn off the flame and set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl or over a double boiler, heat the unsweetened and dark chocolate and butter until just melted. When softened give it a stir and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir to combine.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until really pale and thick. Don't stop early here, go on for at least 4 minutes. It makes all the difference.
Add the vanilla and chocolate, and give it a stir with your spoon.
Fold in the flour, then the currants (and any liquid they were in), and the chocolate chips.
Drop onto the baking sheets, about three inches apart.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and shiny. Remove from the oven, let cool on the racks and serve. Or if you want to get fancy, dust them with powdered sugar.
Makes 24 cookies
Kahlua is coffee flavored liqueur. You can order extra-smooth personalized gift bottles from their website
Currant: Johannisbeere (German), Ribes (Danish, Swedish, Italian), Groseille (French), and Bes (Flemish).
The English word 'currant' has been used for this fruit only since 1550, taken from the fruit's resemblance to the dried currants of Greece, raisins made from a small seedless grape. The much older English name 'ribes' is of ancient Indo-European origin and is common to other languages. - CRFG.org
Want to see what other people thought of this recipe? Check out Curiosity Killed The Cook and see what she had to say!
Stellar photo, too. That one won't win the ugly photo contest.
Lovely cookies, I have to try them on my cookie loving family!