Friday, March 13, 2009

Dark Chocolate Crackles

If you are a chocolate lover these will for sure be a winner in your kitchen! The reason I was drawn to these particular cookies (besides their obvious appeal) was the ability to make the dough and then save a portion of the dough-balls for future use. I first tried these cookies at my boyfriend's mom's house and was amazed at how moist and delicious they were (even after being frozen)! There is nothing better than walking into your house to the cozy and delicious smell of home-made cookies, but even better if you do not have time to whip them up, just pulling them out of the freezer for a quick 12 minutes to chocolate-smelling, PRE-homemade heaven! I brought these over to my girl's night this week and Kelsey offered up some ripe strawberries to add to the chocolate, orange burst in your mouth...perfection!

Dark Chocolate Crackles

from Fine Cooking

2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sal t
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup (2 oz.) unsweetened cocoa, sifted if lumpy
2 tsp finely g rated orange zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled until barely warm
3/4 cup (4 oz.) chopped chocolate (white, bittersweet or semisweet)
1/3 cup granulated sugar; more as needed

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350* F. Line three large cookie sheets wit h parchment or nonstick baking liners.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, brown sugar, cocoa, orange zest, and vanilla on medium speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly between additions. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost completely blended, about 1 minute. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until blended, about 15 seconds.

3. Shape the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls with a small ice-cream scoop or two tablespoons. (The balls may be frozen for 1 month. Thaw them overnight in the refridgerator before proceeding with the recipe).

4. Pour the granulated sugar into a shallow dish. Dip the top of each ball in the sugar and set the balls sugar side up about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookes are puffled and cracked on top, 11 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

They crackle up and your home smells like a chocolate oasis!
Bon Appetit!

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