Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Cookie Test

It happens that this year the sisters and I are hosting a Cookies & Cocktails party.  I am so excited for the event and am making sure to plan ahead.  The party is going to be a holiday cookie exchange party. In an effort to be prepared, I have set out to test some cookies that I deem worthy to have my name on for the exchange.

As much as I love sweets, I cannot say that I love cookies.  In fact, I am quite picky about which cookies I will actually eat.  Maybe it is something that came with age and wisdom, but if I am going to scarf down a few hundred calories it better be worth it. Well these puppies are worth it.

To start the tests, I chose a few select recipes from the December 2012 Donna Hay magazine that I have on my iPad.  I have wanted to make some of these cookies for quite some time and what better than a to test for a cookie exchange party?

Now I have to say, I am a stickler for the rules and followed the recipe to a T.  I even measured my ingredients by weight which is a bit more precise than just using measuring cups. Look at my fancy scale?  It was a Christmas present a few years back and I love it!

For this recipe, the final product, according to the recipe, were beautiful sandwich cookies. Albeit beautiful, the sweetness scale was off the charts. They were so sweet that it hurt my teeth.  I had a few other taste testers and they too agreed that the cookie was just too sweet. There just seemed to be to be too much frosting and even when I barely added any to the center, the sweetness factor over the edge. The cookies were divine on their own, but I wanted to incorporate the Peppermint Cream as it really made the cookies feel like they were made for the holidays.

I loved the taste of the frosting but felt it needed to be added in moderation.  The cookies in and of themselves were really delicious. Chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks, who could resist?

I had an idea to just serve one cookie but to dilute the frosting to a glaze and just to add a little to the top.  Success!

Here is my version of the recipe, give them a try and let me know what you think.

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies With a Peppermint Glaze
(adapted from Donna Hay)

150g butter, softened
1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar (can substitute granulated sugar with a teaspoon of molasses)
1/2 cup (175g) golden syrup, Karo Syrup
1 1/2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
pinch of salt
200g dark chocolate, chopped (you can always roughly chop up chocolate chips)

Peppermint Cream
2 1/2 cups (400g) confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4-6 tablespoons milk

Place butter, brown sugar, and Karo syrup in an electric mixer and mix until pale and creamy, about 4 minutes.  Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and pinch of salt and mix until a dough forms.  Stir in the chopped chocolate.  Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator and for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Take dough out of the refrigerator and roll into 1 inch balls. Place balls o baking trays lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.  Make sure to leave plenty of room as the cookies will spread out.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are cracked.  Allow to cool on wire racks.

To make the Peppermint Cream, place the confectioner's sugar, peppermint extract, and milk in an electric mixer and mix until smooth.  If you icing is too think add more milk one tablespoon at a time until you get to your desired consistency.  Using a spoon, drizzle icing over each cookie in a crisscross manner.  Optional: top with crushed candy canes.  Allow icing to firm before serving, about 10 minutes.