I hope you’ve all been enjoying your summer and the extended period for our Summer Cake with Fruit for #BakeTogether. I know you’ve had a blast spending time with your family and friends. I know I have. I hope you had a chance to read about our trip with our daughter in her efforts to raise money for kids with cancer; we are so very proud of her. That was just one highlight of our summer. We were recently visited by a lady named #Irene and I can’t tell you what a huge impact she made on our lives. She was one powerful force to be reckoned with! Now we’re still dealing the the aftermath of her visit (she was quite the mess) and I’m still waiting for things to get back to normal. Normal, like in having electricity kind of normal.
But I wanted to get this post out to you so I can show you all of the delightful cakes our group made for the August #BakeTogether and to announce what we’ll be doing in September. I’ve tweeted, I’ve listened and I’ve decided it must be COOKIES!
Everyone loves cookies, right? I’ve brought along my little blue friend if you need convincing…you know I’ve got his vote, right?
Now for any of you who might find fault with my photographs of these cookies I must tell you that while you might favor discussing light, f-stop and aperture, I’m working with smoke signals and some Morse code so I hope you will forgive these less than perfect representations of a fabulous cookie.
Before I get to the recipe for this month, let me acknowledge all of the wonderful participants from our August #BakeTogether. I look forward each month to seeing what everyone will do and I must say…you never disappoint. How about a big round of applause for YOU!!
Til that time when we can sit down, have a cup of coffee and join each other; let’s enjoy each other virtually!
I’m baaack! We finally got power this morning so I’ll take it from here. Thanks to my friend Barb with Creative Culinary for helping me get this month’s post completed. In honor of our visitor, it’s been decided these will be Irene Cookies…hope you will join us in our latest #baketogether adventure!
One bite of this cookie and filling is all you’ll need to help you assuage the burden of #Irene.. or whatever else ails you!
Don’t we all just love cookies? Easy to make and even easier to eat. I’ve made my share and so want to share with you some tips that I think help to guarantee your success.
5 Tips for Cookie Success:
- Proper measuring of the flour is important to assure consistent and accurate finished results. If you use a scale to measure your flour use this ratio as a reference: 1 cup all purpose flour weighs 4.5 ounces. If you don’t use a scale, please use the spoon- and- sweep method: stir the flour in the container, lightly spoon into the appropriate-sized metal measuring cup – no scooping, packing, or tapping please – and sweep off the excess with a flat edge knife or spatula.
- Use a 2 tablespoon mini ice cream scooper when dropping cookie batter onto the prepared sheets. It’s a fast way to speed through the process and assures that the cookies will be uniform in size and shape.
- An oven thermometer is a must –have for all baking projects – especially cookies. The mercury-filled ones are the most accurate. If the oven if off, simply adjust your controls accordingly.
- Stow a ruler (18-inches is perfect) in the drawer so it’s at the ready to measure the length of a dough log or the space between cookies on the baking sheet. This will ensure that your baked results are similar to mine. Measurement matters!
- A note about the doneness test information. As with all Fine Cooking recipes, these cookie recipes include both a doneness test and approximate times. The directions will offer sensory clues to help you know when you are ready to move to the next step. The timing is a suggested window that the step will take and should be used only as a guide. Doneness test trumps timing!
Prescription for #Irene Double Chocolate Mousse Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
For the chocolate cookies
- 1 1/3 (6 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
For the bittersweet chocolate filling:
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
To make the Cookies:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment or non-stick baking liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until well blended.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until well blended, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the beater. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla along with the last egg. Continue mixing on medium until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the mixture is well blended, about 1 minute.
- Using a 2 tablespoon mini ice-cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are puffed and tops are cracked and look dry, about 11 to 13 minutes. When the cookies are just out from the oven, make a small, deep well in the center of the cookies using the rounded side of a 1/2 teaspoon measure or the end of a thick handled wooden spoon. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Fill the cookies and serve immediately or cover and keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month before filling and serving.
- Make the filling and assemble the cookies:
- Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or in a medium melt bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened.
- Scrap the chocolate mixture into a small zip-top heavy duty plastic bag (alternately, use a pastry bag fit with a small plain tip). Snip off a small piece of one corner and pipe the chocolate mixture into the wells of the cooled cookies. Set aside until chocolate firms up, about 1 hour. Serve immediately or cover and keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The cookies can also have a drizzle of melted white chocolate (set aside until harden before packaging or, just before serving, you can dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar. The cookie doesn’t need it for flavor or sweetness but it does look pretty.
- You can sprinkle the tops with pistachios for a splash of color and crunch.