Monday, December 28, 2009

December 29th- Chocolate Scribs

The pate is gone and as the cookie marathon comes to an end our home has kicked into healthy cooking mode. Tonight I made Quinoa Tabbouleh served in a roasted Buttercup Squash. I made extra red quinoa which will be mixed with pinto beans I also cooked tonight becoming Bean Burgers for tomorrow night's dinner.

The beautiful snow inspired me to have a tea party using my Christian Dior Limoges China. The Chocolate Scrib Cookies may not be a tea cookie but that did not stop me from sipping green tea and savoring the flakey chocolate cookie. The large snow flakes we falling during my photo shoot and as you may notice the pates are a bit wet. But I continued on. Recently my flash broke on my camera so it will be outside photos only until I figure out what's next in my camera world. Any suggestions? Anybody own a camera shop?

You will have a touch of melted chocolate left over. Now is your chance to make a cup of the best hot chocolate. Sit, enjoy, and relax with your cup of hot cocoa. It is a bonus. I use soy milk in mine and keep it thick but whole milk will also make a wonderful rich hot chocolate.

Chocolate Scribs
Makes 4 dozen

20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
zest of one orange
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour

1. Melt four tablespoons butter in small pan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and espresso. Stir until mixture forms a smooth paste. Cool for 15 minutes.
2. In a bowl of mixing stand fitted with paddle attachment add butter, sugar, and cocoa mixture and mix well on hight speed for 2 minutes. Scrape sides with rubber spatula Add egg yolks, sea salt, and vanilla, mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrap sides of bowl. Add flour in three parts with the mixer on low. Continue to mix until dough is formed. Divide dough into three flat discs and wrap each with plastic wrap, chill for 50 minutes.
3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375.
4. Roll out 1 chilled dough disc between two sheets of parchment paper to even thickness of 3/16 of an inch. If dough become soft and sticky place on baking sheet and chill 15 minutes. Peel parchment paper and cut into a two inch square or two inch round. Place cut out cookies on baking sheets and chill. Gather the dough scraps and chill.
5. Bake until cookies offer slight resistance to the touch about 10-12 minutes. Rotate half way through. If the begin to darken around the edges they are over baked. Cool on trays for 3 minutes. Using a metal spatula remove form trays and place on cookie racks. Repeat with remaining dough and dough scraps.

Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, tempered
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Tempering determines the final gloss, hardness, and contraction of the chocolate. When you melt chocolate, the molecules of fat separate. To put them back together, you temper it. There are a variety of ways to do it.

Here is one of many ways to temper chocolate. Tempering is achieved by adding small pieces of unmelted chocolate to melted chocolate. The amount of unmelted chocolate to be added depends on the temperature of the melted chocolate but is usually one fourth of the total amount. I usually use a whisk blender to mix the two together.

A simple method to check tempering is to apply a small quantity of chocolate to a piece of paper or to the point of a knife. If the chocolate has been tempered correctly, it will harden evenly and show a good gloss within 5 minutes.

Dip cooled cookies half way into the melted tempered chocolate. If chocolate seizes up, reheat it. Allow glazed cookies to dry for 20 minutes.

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