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Friday, December 15, 2006

Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps

I said previously that the holidays make me feel all "Martha Stewarty"; to prove my point, here's one of the goodies I'm giving as gifts this year. And, yes, it's a Martha recipe (slightly adapted). It's pretty simple and easy to double (or triple) the recipe, but it's also somewhat time consuming since you have to roll them out & in sugar twice. These cookies received my husband's nod of approval, so they pass the "share-able" test. Plus, I think they look neat, too. *One warning: your hands will get very chocolatey.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons instant coffee (or espresso powder)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used semisweet chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon milk
confectioners sugar, for coating

Preheat oven to 350F and prepare baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat. (Do this while your hands are still clean!)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, coffee (or espresso), baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer (the dough will fairly stiff), beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients; beat in milk just until combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

Place confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar twice. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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