Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Under my thumb

I love chocolate. I am an unabashed chocoholic. If given a choice between a savory, juicy Porterhouse steak or Lindt dark chocolate with a hint of chili pepper, I’d choose the Lindt. If either a sweet, succulent lobster tail with drawn butter, or a Ghirardelli 70 percent cacao, there’s no need for a bib. If it were George Clooney on a deserted island or a Fran‘s dark chocolate/sea salt caramel, well I’m afraid I’d have to break someone’s heart.

When a want something a bit more indulgent than a chocolate bar to satisfy my craving, I often bake cookies. Chocolate chip cookies are OK in a pinch, but I prefer something a bit more intense. Brownies are comforting (I prefer the chewy kind). And then there are chocolate crackle cookies. Sinfully dark and dense, moist on the inside and covered in a crisp coating of powdered sugar.

Today I was wondering if there was some way to make them even more enchanting? What about turning a chocolate crackle cookie into a thumbprint cookie, and then filling the indentation with chocolate hazelnut spread?

Here’s what is happening in my kitchen today:

Chocolate Crackle Thumbprints with Chocolate/Hazelnut Filling
½ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ tsp. Salt
Confectioners sugar for rolling cookies
About ½ cup Chocolate/hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Form dough into 1-inch balls (this recipe makes about 2 ½ dozen cookies). Roll in confectioners sugar to cover. Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.

Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a ½-inch indentation in the
center of each ball. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Fill the indentations with about ½ tsp of chocolate/hazelnut spread.

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