Posts Tagged 'Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps'

Things Don’t Always Go My Way…

I guess my post title could apply to unpacking approximately 1 million boxes (it’s about as fun as working in a salt mine!), but this is actually a quick story to inspire any cooks who may struggle from time to time.  I’m DYING to get started with some fall recipes, though, so let’s hope for organized cabinets, clear counters, and an upcoming week full of delicious food!

Before our Australia trip and the move, one of Dr. O’s co-workers asked me to make Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps so they could “celebrate” Dr. O’s last day at that particular clinic location. The cookies turned out so beautifully last time – and they were soooo delicious! – that I was happy to put a batch together.

Happy until all heck broke loose, of course.

I had been pretty scattered as we tried to prepare for the move and our big trip, so I think “brain scramble” was part of the problem. First, I prepared the batter with a whole stick of butter instead of a half stick, so I had to start over. Once I had the correct batter formed into balls, dipped in powdered sugar, and on a parchment-lined baking sheet, I went to put them in the oven. I accidentally tipped my baking sheet a bit and watched in horror as three of the cookie balls rolled onto the floor of my oven – hitting the burner, of course. There’s nothing like the smell of burning sugar!

I still had one perfectly good sheet of cookies along with those that didn’t roll off the other sheet. I was afraid they would spread too quickly if they sat at room temperature for too long, so I decided to pop them into the freezer until I could cool the oven enough to clean the burned batter off of the oven floor. When the mess was cleaned up, I took the baking sheets out of the oven and let the cookies sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

It wasn’t enough.

The centers of the cookie balls were still frozen, so they didn’t spread properly. They seriously looked like eggs that had cracked open and cooked. To add insult to injury, I had to use my flash (yuck!) to take this picture since it was late, late, late in the evening at that point.

ARGH! The cookies were actually still delicious, but I couldn’t swallow my pride and send them to the office looking that way. Thankfully, Dr. O’s schedule changed and he had another day at that practice location; I attempted the cookies again and they turned out beautifully.

My message – if you didn’t get it already! – is that we all have bad days in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter if you cook twice a day or twice a month. We just have to be willing to pick ourselves up and try again. Food is such an integral part of life and a it’s great way to bring people together… Cooking is so worth the effort!

Recipe link: Chocolate Espresso Snowcaps

Advertisements

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Let the Christmas cookie experiments begin! I plan to make several cookie recipes over the next couple of weeks in my quest for the very best. My first recipe choice was Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps from the December 2003 issue of Everyday Food. (The recipe can also be found in the Holiday 2006 issue.)

I started by making the dough. The recipe calls for 4 ounces of chocolate, melted and cooled, so that was my first step. I microwaved the chocolate in stages until it was smooth, and then allowed it to cool 20 minutes. While it cooled, I whisked together some flour, baking cocoa, instant espresso powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, I beat half a stick of butter and some brown sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer. I beat in 1 egg, and then mixed in the cooled chocolate.

Next, I gradually mixed in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, etc.) with my mixer on low speed. When everything was just combined, I beat in 1 tablespoon of milk. At this point, the dough was finished, and it needed to be transferred to the freezer to firm up. The dough had a consistency like chocolate buttercream frosting, so I spooned it onto some plastic wrap, formed it into a disk, and wrapped it up.

I pulled the dough out 45 minutes later and formed it into 18 1-inch balls. I put the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Each dough ball had to be rolled in powdered sugar twice. At this point, you can’t even tell these will be chocolate cookies!

chocolate_espresso_snowcaps1.jpg

I put my oven racks in the two center notches and baked the cookies for 12 minutes at 350 F, rotating the baking sheets (top to bottom, front to back) halfway through the baking time. I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate_espresso_snowcaps.jpg

These cookies were really good. They’re slightly crisp at the edges and soft and fudge-y in the middle. They took some time, but a large part of that was letting the chocolate cool and freezing the dough. I’ll make these again.

TIPS: Stay on the small side when making your dough balls. If they’re too big, they spread out quite a bit and the cracked top isn’t as pretty. Also, I found this to be another really sticky dough. I tried Pam, butter, and moist hands, but I still ended up wearing quite a bit.

Recipe link: Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps




The Daring Kitchen

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 562 other followers

I want to cook…

Archives

Advertisements