Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cookie exchange this year?

Occasional Baker on a Diet
third in a series of eight
Because my baking has been more than occasional, I will be going on a diet for the next few weeks. During this time, I will blog about my very early baking as well as my initial attempts at photographing food. The entire series is compiled here.
This post is also subseries # 1 on my past Holiday baking. The entire sub-series is compiled here.

First off, I'm happy to report that the diet's going well, as you can see from my ticker at the bottom of this page. How did I pull it off despite the calorie-packed bostini from last month's Daring Bakers Challenge? Well, the bostini was made early in October, leaving the rest of the month for my obsessive carb counting... which I actually didn't start until last week.

Continuing with this series, I will be posting three of my holiday winners - the recipes that I have baked which have earned rave reviews and I know will be part of my yearly tradition.

Around this time of the year, office cookie exchanges are starting to get organized. For your consideration:

Espresso White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
adapted from Sarah Phillips, and Merritt Palminteri

Note: This recipe was updated November 18, 2007 for clarity.

2 c all-purpose flour
½ c cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tb Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder
1 large egg + 2 egg yolks, room temperature
¾ c granulated sugar
¾ c packed light brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
7 oz Callebaut white chocolate, chopped into ¼ - ½ inch chunks
1 c coarsely chopped lightly toasted pecans

Pre-heat oven to 375°F (convection bake) or 400°F (conventional). Line baking sheets with parchment.

In a separate bowl, sift together first five ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together instant espresso, egg and yolks. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg mixture in two portions; mix first portion until incorporated, before adding next portion. Add vanilla. Scrape down sides of mixer bowl, as necessary.

At low speed, add flour mixture in small batches, mixing until almost combined. Do not overmix. Add chopped white chocolate and chopped pecans. Pulse mixer on high three to four times to mix.

Using a #24 ice cream scoop, scoop balls of dough and place 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. A rounded scoop of dough using a #24 disher will be roughly equivalent to a 1/4 cup or 2 oz volume.

Bake only until edges are set (centres must still be soft and moist) about 7 to 11 minutes (I recommend 8 minutes if using a #24 ice cream scoop). Turn sheets halfway into baking time.

Do not over-bake, as the cookies will harden too much
. The finished cookies will be fragile, soft in the centre and be slightly domed.

Cool on baking sheets for about 3 minutes, before very carefully transferring to a wire rack. The domed, moist centres flatten slightly and become fudgy when completely cool, about an hour. When completely cool, these cookies will no longer be fragile - they will have a crisp exterior and a chewy interior.

Cookies can be stored up to four days in an airtight container.

The recipe is a result of me playing around with Sarah Phillips' Thick with a Chew Chocolate Chip Cookies (the recipe is available in the book Baking 911 or as a premium member of the Baking 911 forum) and Merritt Palminteri's Espresso Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. The result is a truly scrumptious cookie that gets eaten first if laid out on a sweets buffet. True to what Ms Palminteri said on the video, people will stuff these in their purses - I actually caught a coworker doing this last year.

Note the directions on slightly under-baking the cookies to get a moist chewy cookie. This means that if you are very concerned about egg safety, you might want to try pasteurized eggs (use the equivalent of 2 large eggs).

Give these a try, and if you do, please let me know how it turns out. Next up, a somewhat- healthier-but-0h-so-savoury French-Canadian tourtière and a Bûche de Noël with giant meringue mushrooms.


Julie said...

I'm definitely going to try these as soon as I get my hands on some Callebaut white chocolate and natural cocoa powder! Thank you for sharing the recipe, and congratulations on your 7 pounds!!

I(dot)J said...

Ok... DAMN!
These cookies look FAB... and I'm seriously trying to bite them through this cheap monitor of mine.
(oh, did I just go there?)


Scrumptious!!! thats what my son says to yummy cookies...