Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chocolate Sables

These are officially "Pierre Herme's Chocolate Sables" by way of Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan, as excerpted in the NY Times Magazine a few years back. Got all that? In any case, chocolate yumminess! The large grains of salt contrast nicely with the rich chocolate.

1+1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (salt)
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (that would be 11 tablespoons total), softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chip-size bits

Sift (or whisk) the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat another 1-2 minutes. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the chocolate. Work the dough as little as possible.

Divide dough in half and roll each into a cylinder about 1+1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the logs into 1/2 inch disks. (If the cookies break, squeeze the broken-off bit back onto the cookie. Or eat it!) Place the cookies on the baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between each. Bake only one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. (The cookies will not look firm, but take them out anyway.) Transfer the sheet to a cooling rack and let rest.

(FYI, the cookies don't really expand much, the second photo is just closer.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Favorite Brownies

These are Marion Cunningham's "Parker Brownies." I wrote the recipe down years ago (see below) and had no idea where it came from, but a little web search has settled the mystery. I don't have any of her cookbooks, so it must have been reprinted in another source. Anyway... I have tried many brownie recipes over the years, but always come running back to this one! Chewy, but not quite fudgy, these come out on the thin side--so you just have to eat a larger piece!
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (or more) chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease an 8" x 8" pan. Melt the chocolate and butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla, then the egg. (It should become kind of glossy.) Finally add the dry ingredients and nuts. Spread in pan and bake for 30 minutes. Isn't that easy?!