Dec 10, 2011

Holiday Cookies



*Serves 4 comfortably


Fuel

A/P Flour (2 Cups)
Sugar (1½ Cups + ⅓ for rolling)
Cream Cheese (2 ounces at room temp)
Butter (6 ounces, unsalted and melted)
Chocolate (8-10 ounces, a dark variety, chopped or chips)
Vegetable Oil (⅓ Cup)
Baking Powder (1 tsp.)
Baking Soda (½ tsp.)
Vanilla Extract (2 tsp. + 1 tsp)
Heavy Cream (2 Tbs., room temp)
Milk (1 Tbs.)
Egg  (beaten)
Salt (1 tsp.)

Tools

Cookie Sheet (2 lined with Parchment Paper or SiltPads)
Bowls (large and  2 medium)
Pot (medium)
Plate or Baking dish (shallow)
Spatula (rubber preferred)
Whisk
Cup and a Spoon

Tactics

Cookies:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F and set rack to the middle. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk in medium bowl. Place sugar (1½ cups), cream cheese and butter in large bowl and whisk together (it should resemble wet sand). Add the vegetable oil and mix until smooth (some lumps of cream cheese are expected). Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the dry fuel in three installments with a spatula until soft dough forms. Using a spoon, divide the dough into 24 equal pieces (roughly 2 Tbs. per). Using your hands, roll up the pieces into small balls then roll into the reserved sugar until covered on all sides. Place the balls on prepared cookie sheets and space them about 2” apart. Then using the bottom of a cup (I used a measuring cup), flatten the dough to the rough diameter of 2”. Bake, 1 cookie sheet at a time, for roughly 11-13 minutes (rotate the sheets after 7 minutes). Cool cookies on sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

*Option: Sprinkle some of the remaining sugar (or other sugar crystals) from the rolling on the tops of the cookies prior to placing them in the oven.

Ganache:

Place water, approximately 1 inch (ensure that the bowl you place on top does not touch the water), and heat to a slow simmer (small bubbles that occasionally break to the surface). Place the chocolate in a bowl then place the bowl over the pot. Allow the chocolate to slowly melt, occasionally stirring to ensure it doesn’t burn. When the chocolate melts completely, add the heavy cream, vanilla (1 tsp) and a pinch of salt and stir until combined. Turn heat off but keep chocolate over the bowl to allow for dipping. Enjoy!

*Note: Never allow the water to boil. To ensure, keep checking by periodically removing the bowl (use caution as the bowl will be hot) and looking. 

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