It’s always nice to try new flavors and when you bake as much as SWEETTABLESCAPES does, sometimes you get a bit bored with your old standards. So we jumped at the opportunity to try Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Smoky Chocolate Crackers published in Better Homes and Gardens (Feb 2013 issue). Dorie has written many cookbooks and recently opened a small-batch cookie shop in NYC called Beurre & Sel (Butter and Salt in French) with her son. She says that “she prefers a small bite over a big ol’ piece of cake.” “You enjoy it more because it’s a small and fleeting pleasure; I love an individual portion – something that’s all yours. You pay closer attention to nuances in the flavor and texture.”
This is also what we believe in and promote here at Sweettablescapes when we design our dessert tables and miniature desserts. Individual portions give you variety and remove the guilt!!
Today we were also thinking of Moms whose special day is fast approaching and how to make a cookie that would be a bit more “adult” and sophisticated…”These “cookies” are , according to Dorie, “made like shortbread but just tip over to the savory side – perfect paired with wine or champagne. They get their smokiness from smoked paprika, have a healthy amount of salt and just enough sugar to bring out the chocolate flavor. They’d be incredible with port and a slice of cheese”.
So for all the sophisticated moms out there who want a different cookie, we made Dorie’s Smoky Chocolate Crackers:
- 1 3/4
cups all-purpose flour
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2
teaspoons smoked paprika
cup unsalted butter, softened
cup powdered sugar, sifted
tablespoons granulated sugar
cup finely chopped almonds, toasted
Directions1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, smoked paprika and salt; set aside.2. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered and granulated sugars; beat 2 more minutes to blend. Add the egg whites; beat on medium speed 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; beat about 1 minute more. (The egg whites will curdle the batter, but the dough will come together when the flour mixture is added.) Still on low speed, add the flour mixture; mix only until it disappears into the dough. You should have a thick, smooth dough. Using a spatula, stir in chopped almonds.
3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in half; shape each half into a disk. Place a disk between two sheets of parchment or wax paper; roll it to a 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining disk. Freeze the rolled-out dough for at least 30 minutes.
4. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
5. Working with half the dough at a time, use a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut as many cookies as you can. Save the scraps of dough. Place the hearts about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until just slightly firm to the touch, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.
7. Repeat with the remaining dough, always starting with a cool baking sheet. Combine the scraps of dough. Shape into a disk, roll and freeze 15 minutes or until firm. Cut and bake as above.
- Store Crackers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.