Monday, January 23, 2012

Best Snickerdoodles of All Time

I would like to eat all of these. Now. 
In the Fierce household, scattered as it is these days across continents and time zones, there are a few minor differences in palates.  The eldest Fierce Child, he will eat whatever it is as long as he didn't have to make it himself.  You can see C Fierce's preferences for yourself.  It's probably no surprise that I used to claim onion allergies to avoid picking them out of everything put in front of me (now I just try to cook for myself). The one thing we can all agree on, with the exception of The Youngest Fierce, is dessert. As long as it's there, we're happy.

Sometimes though, the rest of us aren't convinced The Youngest Fierce is one of us. He has this thing.... it's not something I can relate to, and I probably wouldn't believe it were possible if I hadn't grown up with him: He doesn't like sweets.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Oh, oh my. 

We have this blog, this blog we update as often as is fun and we have fun things to share. [So for C Fierce that means ... once a quarter. Sorry.] Know what comes with it? An email address that we never check. We should somehow forward it our real emails that we spend all day gchatting on. We haven't. We mostly get spam. 

I promised what, a year ago? that I would write about these amaaaaaaazing cookies, and I haven't. And then I got an email reminding me to do so in March. Well, I checked thesistersfierce email yesterday and that's the first time I saw it.  Apologies to the internet, as I dropped the ball on that one. Sheesh, totally dropped the ball. 

Well, here are the cookies. They are wonderful. And I might just make them tomorrow since they're fresh on my mind.  I was thinking about making lemon bars or marshmallows or maybe some cupcakes, or something new.   

worst picture evarrrrr
Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookiesfrom Sur la Table's The Art and Soul of Baking
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon coffee liquor or cooled brewed coffee
6 ounces 70 percent (bittersweet) chocolate, finely chopped (I hate chopping chocolate)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted and cooled completely
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder 
3/4 cup unsifted confectioner's sugar

1. Combine the flour, nuts, cinnamon, baking powder, and chile powder in the food processor. Blend until finely chopped (60-90 seconds). 
2. Put the butter, liquer/coffee, and chocolate in the top of a double boiler . Mix together over medium heat until smooth-stir occasionally. Remove and let cool slightly (while you do the next step!)

3. Put 1/2 cup sugar and the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until the mixture becomes thick and very light in color. This will take 5-6 minutes, thank goodness for the stand mixer. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture into this and whip until blended, about a minute. 

4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Make sure it is fully mixed buy using a spatula to gently fold it a little more. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours. Seriously important because this dough is messy. 

5. Set your oven to 325. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Using a tablespoon or a scoop-ball-thinger, make the dough into little balls. Set the remaining granulated sugar in one shallow dish and the confectioner's sugar in the other. Roll the balls first in the granulated sugar and next in the powdered sugar. More is better when it comes to powdered sugar.
7. The cookies should be about an inch and a half apart on the cookie sheets. Bake 11-14 minutes until the cookie is slightly puffed and cracked. Try the "nudge" test-if the cookie moves when prodded, it's ready.  If you're going to mess these up, underbake them rather than overbake. They are pretty awful when all dried out (I still eat them but I don't share them that way. I don't want anyone to think that I have ever made a less than perfect cookie). They're best the day that they're baked-if you want to do these ahead of time, freeze them in individual balls and then defrost them before rolling in the sugars and baking. That's what I did last year and it was awesome. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Are you ready for Thanksgiving yet? What are you bringing? Are you hosting? 

I'm not going to be able to celebrate with family this year - I've jumped right from one service industry to another. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this, but it's still a little bit of a downer.  

Around this time of year there are more occasions for get togethers - not just the holidays but the weekends in between. I like to be able to contribute something, to have a housewarming gift of sorts. Cookies are great for that because they aren't as intimidating as something bigger like a pie. Now, if you're coming to my place that would be the perfect housewarming treat, but it can get a little messy and you're showing off a little more. Look what I brought! A pie! What, you don't have ice cream to match with this? See, that's not polite when you're visiting someone else. Cookies creep right in, no accessories needed, and everyone can have one without blowing their diet. Even better, you can have a monster baking session, freeze the dough and only bake what you need when you need it.

That's my preamble to The Best Cookies This Holiday Season. Okay, I have one other recipe that I was supposed to post last year but didn't. Stuff got busy. So, this recipe and the other one are the only ones I'm bringing to holiday celebrations. And maybe some of these. Or these. I see a pattern: if its spicy, chocolate and dramatic, I'm bringing it.