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.
2 tablespoons instant espresso
2 teaspoons hot water
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
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.
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.