Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Crisp and Chocolate and Cinnamon


One of the joys of being a long time baker is playing with a recipe. This past weekend we helped with a move and our neighbors across the street helped, too. While we were between loads, G mentioned that he liked Mexican chocolate. Since his birthday was coming up, this was music to my ears. I knew I could bake something with those flavors to surprise him. He really appreciates baked goods. His wife baked him the most awesome orange tart I've ever had for his birthday meal, so he knows good baking.

One of the things I've been doing this winter is going through old magazines and throwing lots of them out. Every now and then I do spot a recipe that needs to be saved. One of them recently was a recipe for Peppermint White Chocolate Cookie Brittle. Still haven't made that version of it, but I knew I could change a few things and make a delicious Mexican Chocolate Cookie Brittle for G's birthday.

A little dark cocoa was an easy addition. Subbing chocolate chips for the white chocolate was also easy, although I did include some hand-chunked ScharffenBerger bittersweet chocolate to replace the peppermint chunks on top. I added cinnamon and just a touch of cayenne pepper for the Mexican chocolate flavors. A sprinkle of red and yellow sanding sugars added a bit of crunch and sparkle, plus color on the top.


If I make this again I'll make sure to roll the cookie dough out a bit thinner, but otherwise I'm happy with the way it turned out. Chocolate is the first flavor you notice, but then you taste the cinnamon and a hit of pepper. So good with a cup of coffee, but I bet some hot chocolate would be great, too. I only had a taste since chocolate is not a recommended food for me, but Sweetie had a hard time stopping his tastes. Since he continues to lose weight, we gave all the rest to G and his Sweetie to enjoy.



Mexican Chocolate Cookie Brittle
adapted from a recipe in the Dec. 2004 Bon App├ętit magazine
A giant cookie is topped with chunked dark chocolate and melted chocolate chips and sparkling sugars, then broken into irregular pieces.
Makes about 24 pieces
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash cayenne pepper (or use more if you like more of a kick)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 tablespoon shortening
1/2 cup chunks dark chocolate (I used ScharffenBerger bittersweet chocolate)
red and yellow sanding sugar, or colors of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne in a medium bowl.
Whisk melted butter, both sugars, and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just blended. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips until well distributed in dough.
Transfer dough to prepared sheet. Press dough into 14 x 8-inch rectangle, about 3/8 inch thick. Bake cookie until top is firm and darkening at edges, about 30 minutes. Check at 25 minutes since chocolate tends to scorch.
Cool on sheet 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Stir remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and shortening in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Using small spoon, drizzle about half of melted chocolate in think lines over cooled cookie.  Sprinkle chocolate chunks and sugars over melted chocolate. Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over top, especially over the chocolate chunks (to help adhere them). Let stand until melted chocolate sets, about 1 hour. 

Break cookie into irregular 2 - to  3 inch pieces. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

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