stuck in a rut

Here it is Sunday evening and time to post for tomorrow. What to do, what to do. I’ve been busy making candied pecans this afternoon – 6 pounds of them. They are so beautiful and tasty. Could work for a post – EXCEPT THAT I DID IT LAST YEAR. Seems to be happening to me on a regular basis – great idea – oh wait – been there – done that. Am I so limited in favorite recipes that I have nothing left to post? Oh no – time to search my brain for something I have not shared yet… there must be something.

I’ve baked with my friend, Lois. We usually spend 2 full days baking together. This year we are spending 3 not quite as strenuous days and it’s working well. We have completed 2 of our days with excellent results. If you add this to the baking I did on my own (to have ready to send to Italy), I practically have a small bakery worth of cookies stashed in my freezing cold garage. Aside from the 50 fruit cakes (which I resoaked in liquor for the third time today), I have shortbread, pecan crunch, snowballs, mocha cookies, gingerbread, magic toffee, chewy chocolate gingerbread, almond roca squares, ginger cookies, coconut macaroons, 2 types of biscotti and delicious cherry and pecan (or hazelnut – take your choice) crackers. Still more to bake – still having fun. Also the gingerbread cookies need to be iced, but we’ve saved that for this week. It was getting late and we decided to clean up and have dinner. Sushi is such a great way to end a day of baking.

I’ve decided to share my recipe for mocha cookies. This is a recipe that I developed from a couple of other recipes. I wanted a recipe that used butter instead of shortening, a cookie that tasted of coffee and chocolate and I liked the idea of  dough that could be made into rolls, refrigerated and sliced to bake. It is also versatile in the way it can be decorated.  I forgot to mention that this recipe makes about 170 cookies, and you could easily cut it in half. This is the scale I use for Christmas baking, and I forget that not everyone needs to cook for an army. Here you go.

Mocha Slices

2  tablespoons instant espresso

2  teaspoons hot water

2  cups butter

2  cups sugar

2  eggs

5  cups flour

1  cup cocoa

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  tablespoon cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon salt

4  tablespoons milk

2  teaspoons vanilla

chocolate – milk, dark, white – your choice

Dissolve coffee in hot water.  Cream butter and sugar together well.  Blend in eggs.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Mix half into mixing bowl, add milk, vanilla and espresso.  Beat in remaining dry ingredients.

Shape into 4 – 8″ rolls, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate 4 – 24 hours.  Cut into even 3/16″ slices.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 – 9 minutes or convection 325 degrees for about 7 minutes.

When cooled, dip into melted milk chocolate and drizzle with dark chocolate. Alternately you could dip the cookies partly in one color of chocolate, let it set and then turn the cookie and dip in another color of chocolate. Another nice technique is to roll the rolls of dough in course sugar before slicing.

Ok, while I’m thinking about it, here’s a tip for getting nice round tubes of dough. When you first roll the dough it is quite soft. Try to make sure you roll enough to get out air pockets in the dough. Do what you can to get it into a decent tube shape in the wax paper. Slide the roll into a section of paper tubing (from wrapping paper or paper towels) that has been cut open lengthwise. After about an hour, take the dough out of the fridge and roll the dough tube again. It will be firm enough to smooth out. Put it back in the fridge for several hours or overnight. This dough keeps well in the fridge and it’s great to have in the freezer.  Just make sure to wrap the tubes well before freezing.

photo

Here are the cookies with a double dip of chocolate, and some rolled in silvery green sugar. I like them both and I hope you will too! I want to point out that I took this photo in our garage with my iphone. Such an amazing little piece of equipment.

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14 thoughts on “stuck in a rut

  1. These look so good I can just about taste them 😉

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  2. emmycooks says:

    I love the double-dipped cookies–so decadent! And I’m amazed at the scale of your baking–you have some lucky fr

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  3. My goodness – are you going into business. I thought I was a keen baker but you put me to shame 🙂

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    • No business plans here – I just love to bake. Since I don’t need to be eating baking all the time, I use Christmas as an excuse to go crazy. I love sharing it with friends. Also I’m baking for my 4 adult children so they can have their childhood Christmas memories in a tangible form. I haven’t started the gluten-free baking yet, but that’s another post!

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  4. I like the recipes that you come up with when you are “stuck in a rut” 🙂 Decisions Decisions….. no I am stuck which to bake 🙂

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  5. I know from experience that these cookies not only are small works of art but are delicious too. Thanks so much Terri for your donation of Christmas baking for the fund raising auction for the programme for the widows in S India. The gorgeous platter of baking raised a great price. Thanks for your generosity…

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  6. Beth says:

    You do such a wonderful job with your recipes. They always look great and bet they taste great, too! Did you always have a knack for this?

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    • Why thank you! I developed an interest in cooking when I moved away from home to go to university, and I’ve taken all sorts of cooking classes over the years. I also love to read about the how and why of recipes, which makes them fun to play with. I love the precision of baking and appreciate a good challenge, so if something doesn’t turn out – I try to figure out why!

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  7. ranu802r says:

    I think,they look so delicious.I want to eat them now.Thank you for your post.
    Ranu

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