GROWN-UP SPICY CHOCOLATE COOKIE

I bake cookies often. So often that I ended up starting a new blog just to document my adventures in the subject. But whenever I want to share a new recipe, it will be here, in the good old Bewitching Kitchen. This cookie is super versatile. It is so flavorful and complex that it can stand on its own without icing, without filling. But I’ve used it in many different formats, as you will see in my post published simultaneously in my baby blog. It resembles an Oreo in texture and basic taste. But then the chipotle and cinnamon kick in… and all of a sudden you are in love.

GROWN-UP SPICY CHOCOLATE COOKIES
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

226g butter
200g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
380g flour
12 g cocoa powder
12g BLACK cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix flour, both types of cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Reserve.

Cream butter with sugar with a Kitchen Aid type mixer. Add vanilla and egg. Mix until incorporated, then add the dry ingredients in three portions, mixing on low speed. When the dough starts to glue together, stop, check if it holds well when you press a small amount of it with your fingers. Adjust with more flour if needed. Pat the dough into a disc and place in the fridge. It can also be rolled out immediately if you did not have the butter too soft in the beginning.

Roll to desired thickness, cut in shapes, freeze for 10 minutes before baking at 350F. Baking time will depend on size of the cookies, usually 12 minutes.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I did something totally different to get the pattern on these cookies. I used a fondant impression mat, laid it on top of the rolled cookie and then cut the rounds and baked. Inspiration came from the great Dawn Williams, a virtual friend from Facebook, aka Queen of Molded Cookies.

This is the mat… Available on amazon.com

And this is the dough after imprinted with it (dough is rolled over parchment, mat goes on top, then a rolling pin presses it gently over the dough. Peel the mat off, and you are left with this:

Cut rounds, freeze for 10 minutes and bake straight from frozen…

The cookies will be ok without any further adornment. But you know I cannot resist some bling, so I used gold luster dust mixed with vodka and brushed lightly on the design. The suspension needs to be a bit on the thick side, so that it won’t puddle inside the whole pattern.

For the dough, you can also skip the cinnamon and use orange extract + orange zest. Works great too. If you don’t have black cocoa, simply use the full amount of Dutch cocoa. I find that mixing some black with it makes it perfect for my taste. I’ve done in countless times, tweaking the recipe a bit and pretty much anything works.

Now, I invite you to visit my baby blog
to see how versatile this simple dough can be…

See you there!

ONE YEAR AGO: The Home Bakers Collective, May Project

TWO YEARS AGO: Purple Star Macarons

THREE YEAR AGO: Smoked Salmon, Fait Maison

FOUR YEARS AGO: Kouign-Amann, Fighting Fire with Fire

FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, Yin and Yang

SIX YEARS AGO: Chocolate Toffee Banana Bread

SEVEN YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, June 2014

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

NINE YEARS AGO: Baked Coconut and “The Brazilian Kitchen”

TEN YEARS AGO: Honey-Glazed Chicken Legs

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: French-Style Rolls

COOKIE THERAPY, ANYONE?

Four top-notch cookie decorators. Two from the US, one from Canada, one from Spain. Marlyn and Amy get together virtually on Tuesdays for Cookie Therapy (I am undergoing treatment). On Fridays, Marlyn, Haniela and Amber join efforts in their Cookie Lunch Break (videos available here). Both virtual events showcase cookie decorating techniques live, as they chat, share tips, and answer eventual questions from those watching. It starts at noon where I live, so it is now a nice routine for me, I have my lunch and cookie therapy at the same time. Today I share two examples of goodies that were recently showcased by Marlyn and Amy in their Tuesday series. They have in common the use of wafer paper flowers. Needless to say, I fell in love with the technique…

HONEY SUGAR COOKIES WITH WAFER PAPER FLOWERS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, decoration following Amy’s tutorial)

1 cup butter (226g), cut in pieces, cold
200g sugar 
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 eggs
1 tsp honey extract (Olive Nation)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
420 g all-purpose flour
60 g cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder and reserve. 

Cream sugar, butter and lemon zest in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid for a couple of minutes until the sugar is incorporated well and does not feel gritty. Add the eggs, honey emulsion and vanilla extratc slowly and mix until incorporated, but don’t over-mix. 

Add the flour mixture slowly, mixing in low-speed. If needed, add a little more flour, up to 1/4 cup. Once the dough comes together, stop, and form three discs. You should have three discs with about 330g each. Dough can be rolled out immediately or placed in the fridge to roll out later. It also freezes extremely well. 

Cut in shapes, freeze the cut-outs for 10 minutes, then bake in a 350F oven for about 13 minutes. Ice and decorate as desired. 

For my favorite Royal Icing recipe, visit Tanya’s blog with a click here.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The hexagonal cookie tutorial with detailed explanation on making the flowers, starts at 41 min this video. Wafer paper sheets are available from the seller of all things, amazon.com. To make the flowers and leaves, you’ll need mini puncher cutters, (several other kinds available like this) or a considerable amount of patience to cut the shapes by hand. The wafer paper is white, so you have two options to color it: before or after cutting the shapes. I strongly advise that you spray paint or brush color on the sheet, let it dry and then cut the shapes, because they are very delicate and harder to paint after cutting. When you cut them, they will be flat. To give a tri-dimensional look, you can gently wrap them around the tip of a small plastic bottle (eye-drop bottles will work great), or what Amy suggests, using the tip of an air-brush dye bottle like these. Both methods work like a charm, just be gentle. Even if the center rips a little bit, when you add the centers it will hide the boo-boo. As to the centers, they can be dry Royal icing transfers, or you can just pipe a little blob of icing when you glue the flowers on the cookie’s surface. The great thing about these decorations, is that they last a long time, so you can make a little treasure chest with flowers, leaves, and save them for a cookie (or cupcake) emergency.

CHOCOLATE TWIG COOKIES

I find these cookies absolutely adorable! I cannot share the exact recipe I used, as it is available exclusively for Marlyn’s supporters through her Patreon site. You can certainly use your favorite chocolate cookie recipe, as long as it does not have leavening agent. It is also a good idea to pick a recipe that calls for some brown sugar, so that the dough will be more flexible and smooth.

Detailed method for shaping and decorating can be found here starting at 32 min and 30 seconds. Her flowers are logs above mine, with added details that I felt were beyond my skill level. She performs magic with the air-brush! They end up looking exactly like cherry blossoms, but I am still pretty thrilled with my little babies.

The secret to get the bark look, is brushing the cookies with Americolor Ash right before baking. This step is optional but I believe it adds a lot of charm.

As you might notice, I re-use parchment paper. The twigs were baked right after the hexagonal cookies from Amy’s tutorial, as well as some stick cookies, you can still see their ghost images in there…

After baking, you’ll need green Royal icing in stiff consistency to pipe leaves and glue the flowers over the surface.

Another way to use the wafer paper is sticking them on the surface of a freshly baked cookie, the residual heat will make the decoration stick and lay flat on it.

Now, I should also mention that the decorations look very nice, but not everyone will enjoy the mouthfeel of the wafer paper. So tell your guests or whoever will be enjoying the cookies that they can just peel off the decorations if they prefer. You can also minimize the amount of wafer paper by coupling the flower with Royal icing leaves.

I hope you’ll consider joining Cookie Therapy on Tuesdays, or Friday Cookie Lunch Break, at 1PM EST. They are always coming up with interesting things that will open your horizons to cookie making and decorating. I promise you will love it!

Watch it at 13:00hs EST (or anytime later) via youtube here..

ONE YEAR AGO: The Quasi-Vegan Quiche

TWO YEARS AGO: Not Quite Moqueca

THREE YEARS AGO: Roasted Butternut Squash with Cashew Nuts

FOUR YEARS AGO: Mississippi Roast and the Open Mind

FIVE YEARS AGO: Walnut-Raisin Bran Muffins

SIX YEARS AGO: A Star is Born!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Chestnut Flour Sourdough Bread

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Kinpira Gobo and Japanese Home Cooking

NINE YEARS AGO: Walnut Sourdough

TEN YEARS AGO: Thai Chicken Curry

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Zen and the art of risotto

FLORAL CHOCOLATE STICK COOKIES

I am not sure if stick cookies are a fad or here to stay, but I find them quite adorable. Easy to handle, not too big, and fun to decorate. These are intensely flavored, pretty much like an Oreo without the filling. No need for special skills with the Royal icing, it goes on the cookie as a humble flooding layer. Let that fully set overnight (really important), then use a very fine food pen to draw the design you like. Food pens and luster powder close the deal. For a demonstration on how to paint with luster powder, you can visit this post. The process is the same. Cookie cutter from Sugarbelle.

CHOCOLATE CUTOUT COOKIES
(from Baking a Moment)

113g cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes (1 stick)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
135g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
30g cornstarch (1/4 cup)
50g unsweetened cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
180g all-purpose flour (1 + 1/2 cups, you may need a little more)

Cream the butter, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, just until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and mix just until incorporated. Mix in the cornstarch, cocoa powder and the flour. The dough should start to clear the sides of the bowl as you mix it in low-speed. If needed, add a bit more flour.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll the dough and cut into sticks or any shape you like. Freeze the cut shapes for 10 minutes, then bake for 9 to 12 minutes. They are done when they feel firm around the edges. Cool completely, then decorate as you desire.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: To make the drawing you can transfer the design from a printed picture using tissue paper, or use a mini-projector, which makes the process quite straightforward. I am the lucky recipient of an AKASO mini-projector, early Birthday-anniversary gift from my beloved. As I mentioned recently, he is taken, so you can stop your shenanigans.

I am very fond of simple designs with an Oriental flair. There are countless images available around (like these from Cake Central). Stained-glass compositions are also a wonderful source of inspiration. I’ve been collecting images to play with in cookie-format. Once you decide on the image, it is just a matter of playing with colors. The food pen goes on smoothly and the luster powder brings a very subtle texture. I like to join both in the same design, which I did in the cookie with red flowers.

The red flowers were painted with food pen (Americolor Gourmet Writer), the leaves are luster powder Khaki, and the centers Super Blue, both from OhSweetArt.

I am still trying to find my way through the path of mini-projector and cookie painting. The gray cats were painted with luster powder, the black with food pen. The flowers were also a mixture, food pen for the orange and green, luster powder in gold for the center.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sally’s Spicy Mango and Coconut Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Bouillabaise for a Chilly Evening

THREE YEARS AGO: Bergamot-Cherry Macarons

FOUR YEARS AGO: Roasted Veggies with Queso Cotija Dressing

FIVE YEARS AGO: Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole

SIX YEARS AGO: Maple Walnut Biscotti

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Barley Risotto with Peas

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Oatmeal Fudge Bars

NINE YEARS AGO: Cauliflower Steaks

TEN YEARS AGO: Soft Spot for Chevre

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Quick sun-dried Tomato Crostini

SECRET RECIPE CLUB: EARTHQUAKE COOKIES!

After one month break,  we are back with  “The Secret Recipe Club“,  and our group even has a new moderator, April, who did a great job coaching us through the changes that took place during the break.   For those who are not familiar with the event, a few weeks before reveal day, each member is assigned a food blog (in secret) to cook a recipe from.   This time I was paired with My Judy the Foodie.  When I get an assignment, I jump straight to the “About” page, to get to know my fellow blogger.   Shari describes herself as  a “kitchen-clueless person”. But one who is ready for a challenge, the challenge of creating new traditions for her own family, inspired by her mother’s cooking.  The whole blog is in fact a beautiful tribute to her Mom.  Her page “About Judy” was particularly touching to read.

I next browsed through her recipes, and it didn’t take me very long to choose her beautiful “Earthquake Cookies“.  Considering the fact that while living for one year in Los Angeles we didn’t have a single earthquake, but the very week we moved back to Oklahoma the earth shook  three days in a row,  I felt these cookies were the perfect choice!   😉
JUDY’S EARTHQUAKE COOKIES
(from My Judy the Foodie)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 + 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container, stirring every 15 seconds.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and melted chocolate/butter mixture.  Add the baking powder, flour, and salt and beat until very smooth.

Place bowl in fridge and chill as long as 24 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 F.  Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place confectioner’s sugar in bowl large enough to roll out the fudge balls. Take a teaspoon of the cookie dough and form into balls.  Coat the ball with confectioner’s sugar by rolling it around in the sugar many times.

Place on baking sheet with enough room for each ball to “explode” open. Bake for approximately  12 minutes (mine took longer).  Cool and then remove cookies to wire rack (make sure to place foil under the rack as powdered sugar can be quite messy).

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  When you make these cookies, don’t forget the cookie dough must sit in the fridge for 24 hours.   Once you mix the dough, it will be very soft, the only way you can shape them is by refrigerating for several hours.   As far as taste goes,  a full day in the fridge seems to be the best option.

Here you can see the dough right after mixing it…

and next day, ready to finish the job…

My cookies did not explode the same way Shari’s did, her cookies looked a lot more “interesting” than mine.  Not sure what happened, I suspect the geologic fault that runs near our home was fast asleep when I put them in the oven.  Bummer! However, exploded or not, these cookies were VERY tasty.  They have a slightly fudgy consistency, and as they melt in your mouth the chocolate flavor will force you to close your eyes and indulge in extremely happy thoughts.  My kind of cookie!

Shari, nice to meet you through The Secret Recipe Club!   Looking forward to checking out what was your assignment this month!   😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  A Soft Spot for Chevre

TWO YEARS AGO: Seared Tuna, My Own Private Idaho

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