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Chocolate Sparkle Cookies (Modified)

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Chocolate Sparkle Cookies (Modified)

Serves 36 as Dessert.

This is a version of Thomas Haas's Chocolate Sparkle Cookies where I've expanded on the instructions.

I did an experiment last time where in one batch I used (Haas recommended) Valrhona Guanaja 70% and Scharffen-Berger Bittersweet 70% in the other. In a side-by-side tasting, the Scharffen-Berger cookies disappeared first. For reference, I use Scharffen-Berger cocoa powder, Florida Crystals granulated sugar, and Plugrá unsalted butter. Also, I always make at least 2 batches of these cookies since they get eaten so quickly.

Some notes about my method:

- I find a can get more volume in the beaten eggs with the genoise method. I warm my eggs and sugar/honey, whisking constantly, over a double boiler until very warm (about 120°F) and the sugar is dissolved. The eggs will probably take around 10 minutes at medium-high speed in a stand mixer to reach full volume (will take longer if you double the recipe) -- you want nice thick ribbons to fall from the beaters. This is important since the eggs are the sole leavening in these cookies. You also want to be gentle when you fold in the chocolate and almond flour. There's not much gained by "lightening" the chocolate with any of the whipped egg in this recipe, so I skip that step. Feel free to fold the almonds into the chocolate and then fold it into the eggs.

- If you can't find almond flour, pulse slivered almonds in a food processor with some sugar until finely ground (try not to over-process and make almond butter. Also, don't forget to reduce the sugar in the recipe by how much you've added to the almonds).

- You'll need to refrigerate the batter overnight so that it can "set." It's not necessary but when I go to scoop the cookies I found that keeping the batter container in a bowl of ice and wearing a pair of gloves helps tremendously (ambient room temperature and your body heat will start to "melt" the batter and make it harder to work with).

- The original recipe said to bake at 325°F never mentioning that temperature was for a convection oven. Since I have a conventional oven, I set mine to 375°F and let it preheat well. Try not to over-bake -- you'll want to take them out while they still look ever so slightly wet in the middle.

- The finished cookie should be poofy like this, not flat.

Please don't be intimidated by all these "notes" -- the cookies are actually very easy to make. I'm just passing on info I've learned through trial and error to make them (hopefully) virtually failure-proof for you.

Since it's my preferred way of working, I've converted the recipe into weight for those of you that have a scale (see original for volume measures).

Chocolate Sparkle Cookies

  • 228 g best quality/favorite bittersweet Chocolate
  • 43 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 67 g granulated sugar
  • 21 g mild-flavored honey (I use tupelo; Haas calls for blackberry if you can find it)
  • 4 g cocoa powder
  • 71 g ground almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

1. Put the eggs, sugar, and honey in the bowl of your mixer. Over a double boiler, whisk constantly until eggs are quite warm (about 120°F) and the sugar is dissolved. Be careful not to let the eggs start to cook! Remove from the heat and immediately start to whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale in color and it falls in thick ribbons from the beater(s), about 10 minutes.

2. While egg mixture is whipping, carefully melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler, stirring so it doesn't scortch. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, toss the ground almonds with the cocoa powder and pinch of salt.

3. After the eggs have been whipped and the chocolate has cooled slightly, use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the chocolate-butter mixture. Before it's completely mixed in, add the ground almond mixture and finish folding. Gently place in a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight until firm.

4. Place a rack in the lower middle of oven and preheat to 375°F. Use a cookie scoop to make 1-inch balls of dough, roll in granulated sugar, and place on a freezer-safe dish. When all cookies have been formed and rolled in the sugar, place the dish in the freezer for around 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are quite cold (I don't think they'll ever freeze solid).

5. Remove cookies from the freezer, give each a second coating of granulated sugar, and place 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Immediately place them in the oven and bake for about 8 or 9 minutes or until the centers look just barely underdone. Return any unbaked cookies to the freezer while the others are baking. Let the baked cookies cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then lightly dust them with the powdered sugar.

Keywords: Dessert, Chocolate, Cookie

( RG1079 )

"I like butter and the people who like butter." -TA

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