Hot Chocolate Cookies

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Hi, folks,  How are you?  Are you doing all of those things that winter offers?   Snowball fights?  Mittens?  Ski Caps?  Building snow men?  Hot chocolate?

I’d like to tell you that I’m frolicking in the snow, but I’m afraid of flying ice balls, afraid of skiing, especially the lift part, and very afraid of falling down and breaking an important bone somewhere in my body.  So I’m indoors looking out, watching the icicles hanging from the roof grow longer and longer every day.  Since today is a Monday (as I write this), it’s snowing again.

This winter has become so predictable.  You know, like, “if it’s Monday it must be snowing”.  Schools are closed, Mr. D. home from work, and all appointments cancelled.  I’m getting used to it!

One thing I really like to do on a day like this, is make myself a cup of hot chocolate,  with a marshmallow, or cream on top and a sprinkle of shaved chocolate.    Mmmmmm, so warming, so good.   But that fits into the predictable routine, what I want is something unpredictable, like these cookies.

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Let’s have our hot chocolate and eat it too!!

These cookies incorporate all the ingredients you expect to find in a cup of hot chocolate. They are rich, chocolaty and delicious.  They are great for any time of year, but I think wintertime is perfect, and especially for Valentine’s Day.  Change the colored sprinkles for any other holiday or special occasion.  They are always a hit.

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HOT CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Yield:   Makes about 50  cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butterIMG_9150
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1  1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 25 (aprox) large marshmallows

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugarIMG_9171
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • assorted sprinkles

Directions:

1.  In a medium saucepan, or a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently.

 

Choc. chips and butter in microwave safe bowl.

Choc. chips and butter in microwave safe bowl.

In the microwave, at 50% power, this takes approximately 1 1/2 minutes.  Heat for 1 minute, stir, and reheat for another 30 seconds if needed.  Stirring will help the chocolate to blend with the butter and become thick and smooth.  Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.

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2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

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3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.

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4.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.

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5.  While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until all is incorporated.

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Scrape down the bowl, then cover and refrigerate about 1 hour.  If making the dough a day ahead, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.

6.  Preheat the oven to 325*F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat type liner.  Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll with your hands to create balls.  Arrange the balls about 2-inches apart on the baking sheets, then flatten slightly.   Bake cookies for about 12 minutes.

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7.  While the cookies bake, cut the marshmallows in half crosswise.  This will be easier to do if you  dip the knife blade into a glass of hot water after every marshmallow.  Cuts easily, with no sticking.

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When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half -cut side down- into the center of each cookie.

Cookies after baking.

Cookies after baking.

 

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Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 2 – 3 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

After baking the marshmallows will puff a little but do not turn brown.

After baking the marshmallows will puff a little but do not turn brown.

8.  Make the icing:  combine melted butter, sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl add vanilla and gradually add the water, mixing as you go, until the icing reaches a smooth consistency and is thick but still able to drizzle.   Place wire cooling rack with cookies on it over a baking sheet–to catch any icing drips.  Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow, and use the back of the spoon to spread it a bit.  Let the icing run over the edges of the marshmallow, onto the cookie.  After icing just a couple of cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing dries.  Continue icing the remainder of the cookies in the same way.

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9.  Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving, or storing in an airtight container.

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SOURCE:   The basic cookie is an adaptation of a chocolate cookie from Rachael Ray

 

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Festive Swirl Cookies

 

Holiday Swirl Cookies

Festive Swirl Cookies

What began as a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, was transformed into a holiday cookie by substituting red and green swirl morsels for the chocolate chips.  They still offer the crunch and chewiness of a chocolate chip cookie, but with a festive, dressed up appearance.

This could be one of the first cookies you bake, as they are good keepers.  They will stay fresh for 1 week or more in an air-tight container, and they also ship well if you are sending a “care” package any distance.

They may not be as fancy a cookie as some that make their appearance at this time of year, but they are a favorite non-the-less, one that you can count on to always be good.  The cookie dough may be frozen so you can have some ready to bake if unexpected visitors drop by, or the baked cookies may be frozen, and pulled out in a “cookie emergency”.

 

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FESTIVE SWIRL COOKIES

Yield:  2 1/2 – 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flourIMG_8680
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup swirl morsels, green and red, mixed
  • cooking spray

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Coat baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to blend.

3.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugars and butter.  Beat at medium speed until well combined.  Add vanilla extract and egg whites; beat for 1 minute.

4.  Add flour mixture and mix to incorporate, you may need to stir in part of the flour mixture.  Fold in the chips.

Folding in the chips.

Folding in the chips.

5.  Drop dough by tablespoons, 2-inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets.   Bake at 350*F.  for 10 minutes or until lightly browned, but still soft.  They will firm up as they cool.

6.  Cool on pans for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.  Store in an air-tight container.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light