Italy

Tag Archive | "chocolate"

Make Your Own Ice Cream Sandwiches


Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwich

From the moment I cracked open a copy of Pam Anderson’s “Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $32), I started a list of ingredients I needed to pick up in order to make dish after dish. At the top of the list was her recipe for Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches.

These go together quickly, largely because they are a mix of store-bought ingredients. Take a chocolate cookie, a pint of chocolate ice cream, Nutella and some roasted hazelnuts and you are all set.

That is, if you can find the ingredients.

Anderson recommends Nabisco Famous chocolate wafers, but the store didn’t have them. Instead, I bought a package of chocolate chocolate chip cookies from the bakery. I only had a little Nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut spread that I prefer to Nutella (it can be found at www.GauchoGourmet.com), enough to make one sandwich. Then I started to use peanut butter and jellies, especially raspberry and apricot. Toasted almonds, pine nuts and pecans work as well as hazelnuts, too.

In other words, make these sensational summer treats any way you like them. A lemon cookie with lemon curd and vanilla ice cream plus some candy sprinkles would definitely be welcome in 90-degree heat. So would a sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream and almonds on the side.

Just remember what Anderson says, “The cookie should not be too thick, too hard, or too brittle. Sandwiches can be double wrapped and frozen for up to 1 week.”

Chocolate-Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella)
16 chocolate wafers, preferably Nabisco Famous
1 pint premium chocolate ice cream

Spread ice cream on the hazelnut-spread side of the cookie.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in a shallow baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer; bake until fragrant and golden, 10 to 12  minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, smear a portion of hazelnut spread over one side of each wafer; set aside. Scoop 8 ice cream balls, a scant 3 tablespoons in size, and set on baking sheet in freezer until ready to assemble.

To assemble, set an ice cream ball on the hazelnut-spread side of each of 8 cookies; cap with remaining cookies, hazelnut-spread side down, and press to make a sandwich.

Roll sides of each ice cream sandwich in chopped hazelnuts. Double wrap in plastic and place in freezer until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

From “Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers” by Pam Anderson.

Posted in CookbooksComments Off on Make Your Own Ice Cream Sandwiches

Who Can Resist a Healthy Dessert of Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts?


"Heart-healthy walnuts."

This dessert, made of “antioxidant-rich dark chocolate” and “heart-healthy walnuts,” “will certainly satisfy any chocolate lover’s dream,” writes Arthur Agatston in the new “The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook.” And, yes, it’s super quick to make.

Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts

3/4 cup walnuts
6 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes or until fragrant. Cool, then coarsely chop.

Place 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for 30 seconds longer, or until just melted. (If the chocolate hasn’t melted, microwave an additional 20 seconds.) Add the remaining chocolate to the bowl, stirring until melted. Stir in the walnuts.

If you don’t have a microwave, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Then stir in walnuts.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spread the warm chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle.

Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm but not brittle. Cut or break into about 20 jagged pieces and serve, or refrigerate for later (the bark will keep for about 2 weeks in an air-tight container).

Makes 20 pieces.

From “The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook” by Arthur Agatston

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Who Can Resist a Healthy Dessert of Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts?

Ever Had a Bacon Lollipop?


Das Lolli lollipops

Looking for a candy that’s corn syrup-free yet full of flavor?

Keep an eye our for Das Lolli lollipops, which come in several unique flavors, such as Maple Bacon, Naughty Ginger, Fab-O-Pom and Caramel Me Happy. The flavors mean these treats are more likely to appeal to adults, than youngsters.

Naughty Ginger proved to be quick favorite, if only because the ginger had a strong, cleansing burn that was well-matched with the sweet-tart of added lemon flavor. It’s made with sugar, rice syrup, citric acid, crystallized ginger pieces, citric acid, lemon oil and natural ginger extract, according to Das Food’s website.

Caramel Me Happy promised to be a salty caramel, but it was more sweet than salty, though the caramel flavor was exceedingly rich. Fab-O-Pom is a combination of orange and pomegranate, and it made the mouth pucker in delight. If the Maple Bacon was the least of the four treasures, it was because the flavor was more maple and smoke than anything remotely porky, even though the ingredient list includes both bacon bits and natural bacon flavor.(That’s right, this is not a vegetarian lollipop.)

The lollipops sell for about 50 cents apiece at Central Market.

Sweetriot chocolates

Sweetriot is a chocolate pick-me-up that packs more flavor than you could imagine in each tiny “peace” (the owners are hippies, the company’s website says, so they can spell however they choose). This is, after all, “all-natural, anti-oxidant-rich, dairy-free, kosher, gluten-free cacao with a mission.”

That mission is to give your mouth great flavor while giving your body better health, all in a recyclable container filled with equitably sourced chocolate from Latin America.

That’s all well and good, but how does it taste? Super. I bought the 100 percent dark cacao nibs dunked in 70 percent dark chocolate with espresso, and one or two candy kernels explode in the mouth with a burst of intense chocolate flavor. And the lingering aftertaste means you won’t have to keep popping more in your mouth every few seconds.

No corn syrup here, either. At least I don’t think so. The label says they are made from “cacao mass, sugar, cacao beans, cacao butter, soy lecithin, natural vanilla, natural coffee flavor, glaze and lovin’.” I’ve never seen a harvest of “lovin'” before, so I’m not quite sure how much is needed per tin, and I’ll have to trust them on the glaze.

The candies come in tiny tins that won’t take up much room in pocket or purse. The price is $3.99 a tin at Central Market.

Posted in What's Hot!Comments Off on Ever Had a Bacon Lollipop?

Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


Make your own version of Nutella.

Have you ever wanted to make your own Nutella, that rich, creamy mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts? Now you can, with this recipe from “Nuts in the Kitchen” (William Morrow, $21.99), Susan Herrmann Loomis’ latest cookbook.

“I add 5 tablespoons of cocoa to the mixture, which gives it a very satisfying chocolate and hazelnut flavor — you may want to add a bit more or a bit less,” she writes. “I call for a neutral oil here, which gives it a lovely spreadable consistency. If you leave out the oil — which I do on occasion — the flavor is still the same, but it is a bit more solid and less easy to spread.

“Finally, don’t expect the completely smooth texture of commercial Nutella here. Think of this as the ‘crunchy’ version!”

You can also vary this recipe to your tastes. If you, like many, find the flavor of Nutella too sweet, cut back on the sugar and taste it, adjusting to your preferences. Or up the salt, to about 1/4 teaspoon, to bring out the flavor of the nuts and the cocoa powder.

Miniature jars of this would make excellent holiday gifts.

Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

2 cups hazelnuts
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona or Scharffen Berger
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or more if necessary (optional)

Hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts on a jelly-roll pan and toast them until you can smell them, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and place them in a cotton towel. Scrub and roll them around in the towel to remove the skins.

When the hazelnuts are skinned (don’t be concerned if you cannot remove all the skin — just do the best you can), place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process until the nuts make a smooth paste, which will take some time, about 10 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and process again until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the salt, process, and if the mixture is very dry, add the canola oil while the machine is running. Taste for seasoning. If the mixture is very warm, let it cool completely before transferring to a jar and sealing it. It will keep for about 1 month in a cool, dark spot.

Makes about 2 cups.

From “Nuts in the Kitchen” by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Posted in Featured, RecipesComments (2)

‘Scrumptious,’ Yes. But Is It a Keeper?


At a recent cookbook swap, people were invited to bring up to five gently used cookbooks to trade. I quickly picked out five from my collection, including four diet cookbooks that I had never even looked at.

I was not alone in my thinking. Every other cookbook that people brought, save the tome on French cooking that I grabbed instantly, was a diet book of some sort. Most were low-fat or emphasized so-called “healthful” or “healthy” eating.

I can easily see Joy Bauer’s new “Slim and Scrumptious” (William Morrow, $24.99) in some future swap. It’s not because of the quality of the cookbook, but because a cookbook by itself, any cookbook, won’t cause anyone’s obesity to disappear. Exercise is vital. No book can make you do that. Yet we tend to blame the writer when the book fails to be the panacea we thought it would be.

So, what does that leave you with? Bauer, nutrition expert on NBC’s “Today” show, has crafted some recipes that sound truly delicious. Who could say no to Double Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce? Or Herb-roasted Pork Tenderloin? Beef Tenderloin With Fig Reduction?

Ratatouille Lentil Stew is something I can see making regularly in summer, when the eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini are at their finest. And it doesn’t call for any Frankenfoods, aka the modified, processed additives you find in too many diet books. Brazilian Seafood Stew makes good use of scallops, shrimp and coconut milk. (Just don’t buy the light coconut milk suggested. Save some money and make your own light version by mixing one part water with one part coconut milk.)

Dark Cocoa Nuts

As a dessert or a snack, Dark Cocoa Almonds are great and won’t make you think you’re eating diet food.

Bauer also includes a few Mexican-flavored dishes, perfect for San Antonians who want lighter versions of some of their favorite dishes. The Chipotle Chicken and the Spicy Pork Tacos With Sassy Slaw both look great, but I think I’d rather eat less guacamole than dip into Bauer’s version, which thins out the avocado with yogurt.

Each of the recipes comes with a nutritional analysis, which can be a big help given the variety of diets there are. Some are low carb, others low sodium and most are low calorie.

But that brings up what’s wrong with Bauer’s book and too many other diet books. How are we to know if this is the diet right for our individual bodies. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. Plus, there are a growing number of studies questioning conventional wisdom on weight loss, such as the suggestion that some low-fat foods actually add weight to people. There’s nothing really new in that. It has long been known that if you want to add weight, the easiest way is to eat plenty of pasta, a fat-free food. Sugar is also fat-free and adds weight.

Then there are the health aspects of other low-fat foods that are being questioned, such as studies that say everything from infertility in women to prostate cancer in men can be related to the consumption of fat-free and reduced-fat dairy products.

So, don’t discount your doctor’s advice on what you should be eating. Listen to your body. Then take recipes likes Bauer’s and modify them to suit your dietary needs. I think most of us would love Buffalo Chicken Chili With Whipped Blue Cheese regardless of what type of cookbook the recipe is in.

Posted in CookbooksComments (1)

Dark Cocoa Almonds


Coat your nuts thoroughly in the cocoa mixture.

This is a simple snack or easy dessert. And they “remind me of gourmet chocolate-covered nuts (you know, the kind you once bought for $15 a pound),” writes Joy Bauer in “Slim & Scrumptious.”

Dark Cocoa Almonds

1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unsalted raw almonds, skins on (see note)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat the foil with oil spray.

In a large bowl, combine the egg white and vanilla and whip until very frothy. Add the almonds to the bowl and stir until they are completely soaked in egg white, about 2 minutes. (Note: This recipe was tested with hazelnuts with good results.)

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt until thoroughly mixed. Add the sugar-cocoa mixture to the almonds,a nd stir until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated and evenly coat the almonds (no dry powder should remain at the bottom of the bowl).

Nuts coated in dark cooca.

Pour the almonds onto the prepared baking sheet, and use a spatula, spoon or your hands to spread them in a single even layer. Bake for 25 minutes on the middle oven rack.

Using a spatula, flip the almonds over in small batches and bake for 15 minutes.

Cool for at least 15 minutes. Break the almonds apart before serving. Store in an airtight container. (Note: The nuts tasted better the second day.)

Nutritional analysis: 212 calories, 7 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 35 mg sodium

Makes 8 (1/4 cup) servings.

From “Slim & Scrumptious” by Joy Bauer

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Dark Cocoa Almonds

A Cookie to Lift ‘Up’ Your Spirits


These are cookies that even Kevin in “Up” would love. Use chunky peanut butter with Snickers or creamy peanut butter with Milky Way.  You can also use chocolate chunks.

By the way, though Kevin in the movie eats candy bars, chocolate is poison to real-life birds, so don’t share any of these treats with your feathered friends.

Bird Seed

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (see above)
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 (11.5-ounce) bags miniature Snickers or Milky Way, unwrapp

Beat together butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.  Add eggs and baking soda and beat to combine.  Add flour and beat until just incorporated. Don’t overmix.  Wrap dough in wax paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap about 52 mini candy bars. Using about 1 1/4 tablespoon dough (or a No. 50 cookie scoop), flatten dough in your hand and put a candy bar in the middle, wrap the dough around the candy bar and seal. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and bake about 12 minutes.  Let cookies rest about 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.

Makes about 52 cookies.

From Judy Baum

(photo: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

Posted in RecipesComments Off on A Cookie to Lift ‘Up’ Your Spirits

Make Cream Scones or Add a Host of Flavors


These scones are flaky and just slightly sweet, which makes them an ideal starting point for strawberry shortcake, writes Cindy Mushet in “The Art & Soul of Baking.”

“Feeling adventurous? You can adapt these scones to your taste by adding flavorings to the dough, such as citrus zest, spices, chopped and toasted nuts, flavoring extracts or oils, and dried fruit,” she writes.

But don’t let them sit around too long. As Mushet says, “Once baked, serve the scones within 2 hours, when they are at their freshest and most appealing. Keep them uncovered at room temperature until serving time.”

Cream Scones

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar, or for more crunch and a touch of brown sugar flavor, 2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend well. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 5 times at 1-second intervals, or until the butter is cut into medium pieces. Add the cream and pulse another 20 times, or until the dough holds together in small, thick clumps. Use a spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently squeeze the clumps together until they form a cohesive dough.

Pat the dough into a circle 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Use a chef’s knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Brush the tops with a thin coating of the lightly beaten egg (you will not use all the egg). Sprinkle evenly with the sugar. Bake the scones for 14 to 16 minutes, until firm to the touch and golden brown. (See note at bottom.) Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.

Do ahead: Once the sough is prepared and cut, the wedges (without the egg brush) can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Brush with egg shortly before baking. The scones won’t rise quite as high as when freshly mixed, but they will be attractive and tasty.

The dough can also be cut and frozen for up to 1 month. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. To bake, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then place on the prepared baking sheet and proceed with egg brush and sugar sprinkle before baking. Or thaw at room temperature on the prepared baking sheet for about 20 minutes, until cool to the touch but no longer hard in the center.

Variations

Chocolate Cream Scones: Use only 1 ¾ cups flour and add ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder to the flour mixture. Increase the sugar to 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Scones: Add ¼ cup poppy seeds and the finely grated zest of 2 large lemons to the flour and sugar mixture. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes (this dough is a bit thicker than the original so it will take a couple extra minutes to bake).

Cream Scones with Currants: Add ½ cup dried currants after the butter has been cut into medium pieces the size of large peas, and just before adding the cream. (Make sure the dried fruit is moist and pliable. If it isn’t, pour boiling water over the currants and let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain them, pressing out any excess moisture; then pat dry and let cool before adding to the dough.) Bake scones for 17 to 20 minutes (this dough is a bit thicker than the original so it will take a couple extra minutes to bake).

Cream Biscuits: This is a savory version, perfect for the dinner table. Omit the sugar and follow the recipe as direct for light, tender biscuits.

Chile, Cheddar and Cornmeal Biscuits: These can also be cut into 1-inch rounds and filled with thinly sliced ham, sweet-hot mustard and watercress, or other small greens for a fun, crowd-friendly hors d’oeuvre. To vary the flavor of the biscuits, add a handful of chopped fresh herbs, fresh corn kernels, crispy bacon bits, several finely chopped scallions or flavorings of your choice (add just after you finish cutting in the butter and right before you add the cream).

Reduce the flour to 1 ½ cups and add 1/3 cup of fine yellow cornmeal. Omit the sugar. Increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon, the salt to ½ teaspoon, and add 10 grinds of black pepper. Decrease the butter to 3 ounces (3/4 stick). Add 2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons diced roasted poblano chiles (fresh or canned). Pat into an 8-by-4-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Cut in half lengthwise and then into quarters crosswise to form 8 (2-inch) squares. Just before baking, brush the top with egg and sprinkle and additional 1/3 cup grated cheese over the top. Bake 15 to 18 minutes.

[amazon-product]0740773348[/amazon-product]Note: My oven is apparently warmer than Mushet’s. I tried the Lemon-Poppy Seed Scones, and they baked at 425 in less than 14 minutes. So you may want to set your timer a little ahead of time and monitor for the last few minutes. But the end result was quite good with jam, clotted cream or butter, and a cup of tea.

Makes 8 scones.

From “The Art & Soul of Baking” by Cindy Mushet

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Make Cream Scones or Add a Host of Flavors

Griffin to Go: Getting in Touch With My Inner Cookie Monster


I’m not a true cookie baker. That’s always been my mother’s job.

For some reason, I can spend countless hours putting together an elaborate tart or a chocolate cake that is tortured past belief. I recently started whipping up cupcakes and frosting them with decadent buttercreams. But ask me to do a few dozen cookies, and not only do I lose interest, but I also seem to tense up. They take too much time, I say to myself, and call for too much equipment.

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Cookies

Overcoming that prejudice has been one of my resolutions this year. So, I have become repeating to myself that I will sharpen my cookie cutting skills this year, and I will use a cookie press more regularly. That’s all there is to it.

But maybe next month.

To get myself started, I decided to make a pair of cookies this past weekend. Both recipes had similar ingredients, yet the two ultimately could not have seemed more different.

They were alike in that they both had chocolate and almonds in them. And, of course, some sugar, flour and a touch of salt. But that’s as far as they got.

The first was a drop cookie from one of my mother’s recipes. The name was what drew me like a moth to a flame: Chocolate Almond Cookies. Except there was a problem when I looked at the recipe: The ingredients list called for 1 cup M&M’s, but made no mention of almonds whatsoever.

Rather than call her, I decided to fiddle with the recipe on my own. I substituted slivered almonds for the M&M’s and went to work. I added a touch of almond extract and ended up with a cookie that was comforting to the eye in its rustic appeal and pleasant to the palate because it wasn’t terribly sweet. What an old-fashioned treat. (I talked with Mom after making the batch, and she had no recollection of these whatsoever.)

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies

The other recipe was for Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies, and it came from a new cookbook I recently picked up, Cindy Mushet’s “The Art & Soul of Baking.” In this recipe, the almonds are toasted and ground into a flour seasoned with cinnamon and achiote chile powder.

The chocolate, meanwhile, isn’t cocoa powder, but 70-percent bittersweet melted into butter with a touch of coffee liqueur for added richness.

The dough balls you form from these are rolled in sugar and then powdered sugar before baking. Yet the end result, while snowy white on the outside from the powdered sugar, wasn’t a sugar bomb, either. And the cookies managed to be both chewy and light at the same time.

These were the obvious winner with most, but the Chocolate Almond Cookies had their fans, too.

They’re both great for Valentine’s Day. Great for sharing. And great for someone who has to ease into this cookie-baking process.

Posted in Blogs, FeaturedComments Off on Griffin to Go: Getting in Touch With My Inner Cookie Monster

Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies


The inclusion of ancho chile powder adds an unexpected richness to these light, chewy cookies. As baker Cindy Mushet writes, “The could of chile powder adds an intriguing backnote – not heat exactly, but a sultry earthiness that enhances the chocolate flavor.”

Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur or cooled brewed coffee
6 ounces 70-percent bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar, divided use
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted and cooled completely
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar

Bring 2 inches of water to boil in the bottom of a double boiler. Place the butter, liqueur or coffee, and chocolate in the top of the double boiler (off the heat). Turn off the heat, then set the chocolate over the steaming water. Stir occasionally with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove and cool slightly while you whip the eggs.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and 1/2 cup of the sugar on high speed until very light in color and thick, 5 to 6 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, though you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and whip until blended, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

First roll in granular sugar

Then roll in powdered sugar

Place the flour, nuts, cinnamon, baking powder, chile and salt in a food processor and process until the nuts are very finely chopped, 60 to 90 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Stir gently. a few times with a spatula to make sure there are no patches of unincorporated flour lurking near the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the powdered sugar into two separate bowls. Scoop the chilled dough into tablespoon-sized balls using an ice cream scoop or a spoon. Roll each dough ball in the sugar and then in the powdered sugar. Be sure to coat the dough generously with the powdered sugar — in this instance, more is better. Space the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

[amazon-product]0740773348[/amazon-product]Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time, for 11 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and cracked. If you nudge a cookie, it should slide on the sheet rather than stick. It is better to underbake these slightly than to go too far — when overbaked they are dry and unpalatable. Transfer to a cooking rack and let cool completely.

Makes 36-40 cookies.

Adapted from “The Art & Soul of Baking” by Cindy Mushet

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies