Monday, December 6, 2010

Martha, Martha, Martha...

Yes, I do remember the Brady Bunch. But I'm not upset with Marsha, rather it's a certain Martha who has me a bit wound up. See, I decided to get radical and try new Christmas cookie recipes this year. I attempted my first newbie this weekend: Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps. Now, I have no quibble with how these turned out taste wise. The espresso powder definitely adds a little something to the overall taste of the cookie, which is chewy, chocolatey deliciousness. No, my quibble is with the presentation. My cookies looked nothing like Martha's beauts. Go ahead. Click on the recipe link above and see how pretty her cookies look. Now look at mine:

Even my cuter than cute polar bear doesn't look so impressed. I mean, he's trying to be supportive and all but he can tell something is a bit off. My cookies don't look nearly as snowy. And I followed the instructions; I rolled my cookie balls in sugar twice, I even tried a batch where I made my balls a tiny bit smaller. But to no avail. My cookies are at best Chocolate-Espresso Snow(dusted)caps. So I'm a bit irked, although really how they look is really a moot point since they are all gone, less than 24 hours after they were baked. So that's gotta count for something, right? I do think these are a keeper. They are quite divine.

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, for coating

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients; beat in milk just until combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar twice.
    3. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    From The Martha Stewart Show, December 2006

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