Monday, September 1, 2008

I think I'll stay

I didn't think much about the shape of these cookies prior to making them. I didn't realize that the heart shape could be a play on the of "the city of brotherly love". I really only had two choices of cookie cutter--heart shaped or gingerbread man. The heart shape was closer to "round", which was the instruction in the recipe.

Yes, these are the cookies from 101Cookbooks that I was talking about at the end of my last post. I was told to bring something to a reunion party at Julia's new apartment, and since these intrigued me so much, I thought they'd do. They were meant to be, in a way. Heidi said in the post she had planned to make them for a trip to Philadelphia. I also found the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour at the Reading Terminal while buying vegetables. Serendipity?

So here's the recipe, rewritten, in case you want to try this for yourself (Alex).

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (they were cheaper at Whole Foods then Supahdupah Fresh, I don't know what that was about, but look forward to more poppy seed recipes--I'll have them all year, I'm pretty sure.)
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, or uh, margarine if you're cheap
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large egg yolks (I must have misread that, I put the whole egg in. But just do the egg yolk, I thought my batter was a little sticky)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
6-7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or half a bag of Whole Food's dark chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the sugar and mix some more, scraping the sides of the bowl once along the way. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again if needed.
4. Being careful not to over-mix, stir in the flour mixture by hand (Don't screw up the gluten!). If the dough is on the dry side stir in the milk as well (This didn't happen for me. But you'll need that milk for another step).
5. Throw the bowl in the fridge with a damp towel over it for at least half an hour--or as long as you can wait. I was in a time crunch, but believe me, let that dough chill for as long as you can. It will make your life so much easier.
6. Turn the dough out on to a well floured counter top. Kneed it a little. Cut the dough into four quarters, then shape each piece into a ball. Throw the other three back in the fridge while you work with the first ball.
7. Flatten the dough to about an 1/8". This is "wafer thin", but since I'm not Catholic I'm not sure what that means exactly. You're going to need lots of flour on your rolling pin. Cut out your cookies.
8. Load up the baking sheet with parchment paper and send them into the oven for 7-8 minutes, until they're golden on the sides.
9. Using a double boiler method (ghetto!) throw the chocolate in the bowl once its been heated a little by the hot water. Stir constantly, as nothing is worse than burnt chocolate. Add a few tablespoons of milk and whisk, so you have a stiff ganache. Don't add too much milk, as you don't want a milk chocolate center.
10. Quickly spread the chocolate on the flat side of the cookie and sandwich them together. Cute, right?

They were too healthy tasting for Sydney, but everyone else seemed to enjoy them. The light, subtle cookie complements the dark chocolate in an almost savory way.

Tonight I made a lentil stew (which, the last time I made it, people skipped school to eat) for the biddies, and of course, a Jesus-Approved Peach Cobbler. The original plan was an apple pie with Gruyere baked in to the crust (a la "Pushing Daisies"), but due to labor day and the Reading Terminal being closed, I settled with Jersey peaches from Whole Foods.

I have been doing other things since I've arrived, like buying a pie plate and setting up the apartment (read: the kitchen). I guess if you really wanted to know, you could watch Marc's video blog. I warn you, the dancing may shock you.


Alexandra: said...

I just watched Marc's blog... in love with you so much more. oh and your hair cut is amazing - I want your apron.

Alexandra said...

currently I am in a coffee shop updating lemoninwater and a postman came in to drink a cup of coffee. i automatically thought of you... thought you would like to know.