Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Miscellany...

These days when I have nothing specific to tell are always the toughest to blog about (probably why I'm a day late anyway). It's great when you have news to share and you just can't wait to jump on the computer and let everyone know, but when things are just trucking along as usual, inspiration just doesn't come as easily. So, yeah, it's business as usual 'round these parts. Work, home, dinner, bed, repeat, etc. Don't get me wrong, a routine is very welcome, and there are good things on the horizon I'll be able to talk about soon enough, but for now? Just not that much goin' on, y'all ;)


So, you get snow day pictures.



(proof! snowflakes on my head!)


And, bonus!, a recipe ;) I made these Chocolate Thumbprint cookies (courtesy of Martha Stewart) last week in a fit of glee at being home before dark (two days a week I open at the bakery and get home at 2pm), and they are in fact, dynamite. Slightly labor intensive because of the rolling in sugar and the filling of the thumbprint, but sincerely worth it. Next time you need to take someone a batch of cookies and want them to know how special they are, these are the cookies for you. So good, I might make them again later this week, and definitely a perfect cookie for Valentine's Day!

I will say that some reviews on the website mention that they find these salty--actually, that is the point, the super dark and fudgy cookie and the rich ganache need something to offset them slightly, and if you use coarse salt like kosher salt in the recipe, you get tiny salt grains. Just like with french salted caramels, chocolate covered pretzles, or World Market's Sea Salt chocolate bar, the salt works perfectly with the sweet. And really, I don't think it's at all overpowering, but if you're concerned, use regular table salt and cut the amount in half (as a matter of fact, if you're using table salt anyway, cut the amount in half--the recipe measurement is specifically for coarse salt, and using the same amount of table salt may be why some people think it's too salty in the first place, they are NOT interchangeable at the same quantity!). I will say that I did not get 90 cookies from the recipe, only about half that. Maybe Martha's are smaller, but I felt like mine were a good two-bite size. The ganache recipe Martha gives involves a vanilla bean as well, and I think that's a costly pain, so I changed the recipe a bit (the version below includes my changes) Also, 'cause I'm crazy like that, I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder instead of regular (resulting in a much darker, fudgier cookie), and to match, used Special Dark chocolate chips to make the ganache. *sigh* All this talking about them has made me miss them even more...

Chocolate Thumbprints
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream, and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
  2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, and roll each in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create an indentation. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers again.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool.
  3. Spoon warm ganache into center of each cookie. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  1. Combine honey, cream, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring until honey dissolves. Keep warm over very low heat.
  2. Place chocolate in a food processor. Pour cream mixture over chocolate, and let stand for 1 minute. Process until smooth. Add butter, and continue to process, scraping down sides occasionally, until butter is incorporated. Let cool slightly, and then use immediately.
Hope you guys try them and love them as much as Matt and I did! I'll see you back here next week. I'll be sure we have something new to discuss ;)

**Almost forgot, a new cake from this weekend is up at the cake blog, be sure to check it out!**

5 comments:

KatieKate said...

ooooh, I love those cookies. LOVE.

And I love the picture of you in glasses. Such pretty eyes!!!

sunday said...

I made those cookies as a present and did not get anywhere 90 either but they were still so good. So jewlous of the snow. Still don't have any here to date. What a bummer.

sunday said...

Not sure what jewlous means but I was pretty darn jealous

christy said...

Snow! I kinda miss it. I'm not sure yet. The cookies look unbelievably delicious. I can not try to bake them, though, or I'd wind up eating half the batch! Plus, all I seem to be able to do is seize chocolate instead of melting it smoothly. don't have your talent!!!

Hannah said...

One word on how the cookies look/sound...HEAVENLY!!!