cookies under wrap
How much credit can I take for these cookies?
As TS had already mentioned, when we signed up for the cookie exchange, we had no idea how it actually works. Going in blind is always the way to go. ;)
When we found out how many cookies that we needed to bring, I was surprised but managed to contain my panic. I saw TS baking her macha shortbread cookies and I was still nonchalant, thinking I can pull off my own cookies before the day came. Saturday, to be exact.
During our brainstorming sessions, we thought, since TS was doing a tea-inspired cookies, I could do something else with tea. Browsing through cookbooks and magazines, we jumped on Martha Stewart's chocolate thumbprint cookies. It promised to have a chewy-brownie-like texture. Instead of the honey-vanilla ganache in her recipe, we could have an Earl Grey-white chocolate ganache instead.
Okay, we're good to go. I had my cookie picked out, and to my glee, one batch of this recipe made 90 cookies, the magazine says.
chocolate thumbprint dough, rolled in sugar, waiting to go into the oven
I got a pretty Mason jar and put a few bags of Earl Grey tea in it, pouring in heavy cream and letting them steep. I stashed my jar in the fridge and then it's just the baking from here.
The next night, I saw TS making another batch of her macha shortbread cookies. Oh cool. No panic: I still got lots of time. It's only Wednesday and I have three days to go.
Thursday and I saw TS making yet another batch of her cookies, the last batch of cookies to make the 6 dozen required. Cool. My cookies won't take too much time, because one batch makes 90 cookies.
chocolate thumbprint cookies, cooling on racks
Friday comes. I get home from work around 4:30 in the afternoon and have to prepare dinner. I'll do the cookies after I finish with dinner.
Then I'm tired. I didn't know how I can bake these cookies. Our house was full of people, I had the dinner-mess to contend with first.
I was *suddenly* tired. In my defense, I had been feeling under the weather for the past couple of days, with what I think is a low-grade fever/headache bothering me throughout.
So I asked for help.
"CSC, can you bake my cookies?"
CSC said yes and then she proceeded to bake the cookies. TS stepped in and did the ganache. Even the kids "helped" with the rolling of the cookies in sugar.
Do these cookies have my "thumbprint" on them? ;)
The moral of the story is, sometimes when you go in blind, you come out blind as well. Which is sometimes not all bad, especially when you have delicious cookies from it.
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Notes about the cookies:
1) CSC followed the recipe exactly. However, the yield was more 70-ish than 90. (Actually, it was threatening to dip to the low 60s because they were constantly in danger of being eaten!) The yield has been revised in the recipe below.
2) The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt. I, myself, loved the saltiness! However, some people may be "surprised" especially if they're not used to chocolate and salt together. CSC herself didn't like the cookies by themselves, but liked the salt only when eaten together with the ganache filling.
3) We all loved the texture of the cookie, as we're fans of the soft, chewy genre of cookies.
Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache
As for the ganache, cold-steeping the tea in cream did not work.
So, I simply placed the teabags and cream in a small saucepan and heated the mixture on low until I was satisfied with the intensity of the tea. Then, it was a matter of adding white chocolate to the warm cream. I added butter too, but to my knowledge, ganache doesn't necessarily need that.
I was so afraid that the ganache wouldn't set up that I placed the mixture in the refrigerator for a bit. It firmed up, thank goodness. However, it was much harder to fill the thumbprints and make the ganache look "pretty." I resorted to mashing the ganache down into the "thumbprints".
(If you wish, using a plain thumbprint cookie will make the Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache the star. But, we do like our chocolate.)
This was a definite success in my book!
Macha (Japanese Green Tea) Shortbread
Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies with Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache
from Martha Stewart Living magazine
These cookies have a texture similar to brownies.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350◦ Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and add yolks, cream and vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, and roll each in sugar. Place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each to create and indentation. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are set, about 10 minutes. (If indentations lose definition, press centers again.) Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies on wire racks, and let cool.
3. Spoon warm ganache into center of each cookie. Let stand until firm, about 15 minutes. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.
Earl Grey-White Chocolate Ganache
½ cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, cut into small pieces
10 teabags Earl Grey tea
2 Tbsp butter, softened
In a small saucepan, start heating heavy cream on low. Add tea bags. Let steep on low until tea flavor has been extracted, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add warm cream to white chocolate and stir until chocolate melts. Add butter and continue stirring until incorporated.
We're submitting this to Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies event.
How to participate: click here.
Check out the round-up of all the cookies!