Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Treats -- Super Gooey Chocolate Drops

First I've a bit of promo work to do, hope you all don't mind. Tomorrow Dec 12, Chatting with Joyfully Reviewed will host a bunch of us Triskelion authors. I'll be popping in and out as much as I can. Then on Friday, we're having Freaky, Futuristic Friday on the Triskelion Book and Fever loops. We've got some terrific authors lined up (ahem, me included :D), contests and excerpts. So if you can, you ought to try to be there. (Email me if you need instructions on how to join the loops)

This week, we're talking about Holiday Treats, one of the fabulous ideas from Jennifer (who I think will also be posting today.) I'll be sharing a recipe I just discovered so read on for the details :D

Christmas is the time of year that we all want to make memories for our families. And often those memories involve food: Roast turkeys or hams, sweet potatoes, green bean casseroles. And we often top it off with a sumptious dessert.

But, truth be told, my family prefers fresh baked cookies or sweetbreads (Santa does like his eggnog and cookies, you know) And every year I turn into 'Betty Crocker' and fire up the oven. I have to admit I adore the smell of cookies or breads fresh from the oven, the warm, sweet aroma wafting all through the house. And I can always tell when I've got a winner (ahem, anything short of burned is a winner according to my family of 'Cookie Monsters') when I see them dancing impatiently beside the stove waiting for the first still warm cookie, LOL

I'm diabetic but I'll allow myself to have one cookie if it's just a tiny bit scorched (my favorite kind :D) After that, it's all for the dear husband and darling daughter. Their eyes grow wide with delight when they see the dozens and dozens of cookies (I do a variety--peanut butter, sugar cookies, rum balls, nut cookies--and none of them ever get turned down.

But I'm a chocoholic from way back and, as members of my newsgroup are aware, it isn't dessert, or a treat, unless it has chocolate :D So if I'm going to share a recipe here in honor of our theme week, it's going to have chocolate. I'll confess right now I just got this recipe from The Food Networks 12 Days of Cookies but I plan on trying it out as soon as my kitchen remodel is finished. If you make it, be sure to let me know how you like it. Oh, and if you a good chocolate recipe, you can share that too :D

Super Gooey Chocolate Drops

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's or Scharffen Berger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
11 ounces (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup dried cherries (optional)

Position racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. (If you don't have 3 pans, simply cool the pan between batches.)

Put the butter and the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 75 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir and heat again until melted, up to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)

Stir the light brown and granulated sugars and vanilla into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat vigorously until thick and glossy.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks and dried cherries, if using.

Drop the batter in heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets--a small ice cream scoop is ideal for this. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart. Bake until the cookies set but are soft and fudgy on the inside, 12 to 15 minutes.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

1 comment:

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

These look FABULOUS, Lynda! You had me at 'chocolate.'