Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies and Strawberry Preserves

Hi all! We are officially on summer break... Well, my husband is! But I said WE because when he is on break, I am on break too... On break from making supper early on Tuesdays [he has marching band rehearsals every Tuesday, so dinner has to be served right before he leaves at 5:30], I am on break from the buzzing of our numerous alarm clocks in the morning and I am on break from hearing the awful stories from work John feels he has to share with me once in a while. Yay!!!

To celebrate, I made the cookies pictured above. Those are not internet photos, I took those myself soon as the first batch of these tasty goodies came out of my oven. They are called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies. There is a similar type of cookie that I used to love to eat, they are called Chocolate Crinkles. But I believe the ones I made today are waaaaaaaaayyyy better! I found this recipe in Epicurious and found someone make an attempt on it on their blog but the cookies didn't turn out so good... Although they tasted really good, my very first attempt on this recipe didn't turn out great either. The cookies melted into each other. 

And I blame it on two things: 

1. The recipe wasn't written good. I believe recipes like this, need side notes! For example, let the dough/batter sit on your counter or refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to give the dough/batter time to stiffen, making it easy to roll.

2. Temperature accuracy is crucial in the making of these cookies... It follows the same principle as   making molten lava cakes. High temperature bakes your cookies/cake fast and ends up with a fundgey or gooey  interior. So if your oven is not at 400 degress F, your cookies will melt into each other, and that isn't going to be very pretty. So if you don't have an oven thermometer, make sure you preheat your oven for at least 15 minutes... It takes about that long for your oven to reach the desired temperature.

I also made strawberry preserves for John today... He has already made me promise to make him some peach preserves when they come in season. My husband will gobble anything that is sweet. He will definitely do anything for me if I promise to pay him in baked goods or sweets. These preserves I make are easy. I buy the pectin and follow the instructions in the box except that half of the fruit I mash, the other half I put either in the blender or food processor. John likes some fruit chunks in there, but not too much. I don't like preserves much, so one batch [7 cups] lasts him all year. He doesn't like sharing either. lol He hogs pretty much every baked good and every sweet thing that I make unless someone wants to trade goods.

Here's the cookie recipe, you can get the printer-friendly version here.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Epicurious
Nonstick spray
1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 oz) divided
3 large eggwhites, room temperature
2 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided
½ cup sweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in microwave, stirring twice about 2 minutes. [I melted my chocolate in a double boiler]. Cool slightly.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Continue beating until meringue resembles soft marshmallow creme. Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and ½ cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff). [let dough sit on your counter or fridge for about 20 minutes before rolling, the dough will stick to your hands and fingers if you don’t wait]
Place ½ cup sugar in a bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon of dough into a ball; roll in sugar, coating quickly. Place on prepared sheet 2 inches apart. Bake until puffed and top crack for 8 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer onto cooling racks.
Makes about 18 cookies.


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