Sunday, January 3, 2010
Most of my baking is related to my participation in the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. The weekly assigned recipes don't leave much time for other baked goods, but every now and then I have an opportunity to explore other recipes for sweets, and when I do, Alice Medrich's book Pure Dessert is one of the first that I grab. Adding to the fun, I can often count on a virtual bakealong with one or two of my online baking buddies. The week before Christmas I baked these chocolate wafer cookies with Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook. The best thing about this recipe is that it performed double duty: it gave me some additional Christmas cookies, and I used some of the wafers to make the crust for the chocolate cheesecake that we enjoyed for our Christmas dinner (this was Di's suggestion: thank you!).
- Medrich says that she tinkered with the recipe until she produced wonderfully crisp yet tender chocolate cookies that can be eaten on their own or used in other recipes, such as for the crust of a cheesecake. You can find the recipe here, on Smitten Kitchen, accompanied by Deb's high praises about the versatility and deliciousness of these cookies.
- The recipe is dead-easy; it uses cocoa powder (Medrich prefers a good quality natural cocoa; I used Scharffen Berger) and there is no solid chocolate to chop and/or melt. In a matter of minutes the cookies were mixed in the food processor and the logs of dough formed and put in the fridge to chill. Even before I baked or tasted the first cookie, this recipe reached favorite status based on ease alone!
- I used parchment and a long straight-edge ruler to form the logs, and my cookies were the roundest I've ever gotten from a slice-and-bake recipe.
- It took me several days to find the time to bake the wafers, but slicing them and popping them in the oven couldn't have been more straightforward. I baked the first sheets of these cookies for the lower end of the recommended time, and they were delicious and soft-ish. For a crisper cookie for the cheesecake crust, I baked the remainder of the cookies for a few minutes longer.
These cookies are a real find - they have great chocolate flavor on their own, and they are wonderful as a chocolate crust for a cheesecake or icebox pie. They are crispy but still a bit soft at the same time; a great combination.