Chocolate Shock Cookies

Cookies, Recipes

A friend of mine is a baker. He likes to experiment – in his shop you will at times find goodies like chocolate with extra-hot chili (he grows the chili himself!) or cookies with lavender. For his birthday, I will give him these cookies, with the recipe attached – maybe he will like them and sell them in his store!

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The original recipe uses white chocolate, which contains lactose. I wanted to make a lactose-free version for myself, so I produced a second batch in which I replaced the white chocolate with chopped walnuts. I must admit that I like this version better than the one with white chocolate. The walnuts go extremely well with the dark chocolate batter!

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The cookies did not turn out as pretty as I had hoped, so I initially did not want to publish the recipe on my blog. Only when I realized that the kids kept walking into the kitchen to get another cookie, I tried one – and changed my opinion. The cookies are not too sweet and have an intense and smooth chocolaty taste. They are just the way a rich chocolate cookie should be, even if they do not look perfect!

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups (300 g) flour
1 ⅓ cup (100 g) unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup / 4 sticks (250 g) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 tbsp. sugar beet syrup
1 tsp. vanilla sugar (not vanillin)
2 large eggs, room temperature

Version 1 (= containing lactose):
1 cup (150 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (150 g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
Decoration:
⅓ cup (50 g) white chocolate

Version 2 (= lactose-free)
1 cup (150 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free, coarsely chopped
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. (150 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
Decoration:
⅓ cup (50 g) milk chocolate, lactose-free

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F (190° C) (convection oven: 355° F,180° C). Cover baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

In another mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and syrup with a handmixer or kitchen machine until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla sugar and beat for another three minutes.

Add the flour-cocoa-mixture. Beat it into the batter with the hand mixer/kitchen machine at low speed or with a wooden spoon. The batter will be quite heavy and firm.

Version 1 (= containing lactose): Add the chopped chocolate and stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Version 2 (= lactose-free): Add the chopped chocolate and the chopped walnuts and stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets and bake for about 10-13 minutes. Keep your eye on the cookies – they get burnt at the edges fast! Rather take them out of the oven a little early than keep them in the oven too long. They will firm up when they cool.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool.

Decoration:
Place the cookies side by side on a cooling rack, a baking sheet or baking parchment. If you use a cooling rack, place baking parchment beneath it – it will make tidying up the working surface a lot easier!

For the glazing, coarsely chop while chocolate (version 1) or lactose-free milk chocolate (version 2). Melt in a double boiler or on the stove at very low heat. Put the melted chocolate into a small plastic bag and cut off an edge. You now have a self-made icing bag.

Decorate the cookies with the glazing by moving the icing bag over the cookies diagonally.

Schoko Schock Cookies 1

Makes about 30 large cookies.

 

Adapted from: Cynthia Barcomi´s Backbuch (2007), München: Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag.

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Nut Wedges

Cookies, Recipes

Last weekend I realized that it was only just about four more weeks until Christmas! It is not even really December yet and does not feel like pre-Christmas-time at all! Never mind. Pre-Christmas time means baking, so off to the kitchen I headed.

Each year I start my Christmas-baking with Nut Wedges. This has become something of a tradition. Nut Wedges are ideal, as with one baking session I will get a big tin of cookies. This immediately gives me the feeling of having achieved something, and also of having a bit of a stock of cookies. Nut Wedges are also my son´s favorites – another reason to start my baking with them!

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The list of cookies I want to bake this year is a long one! “Linzer Augen“, „Linzer Stangen“, Vanilla Crescents, Heart-Shaped Cookies with Rose Hip Jam, Star-Shaped Cinnamon Cookies, Caramelized Nuts in Chocolate, Coconut Wedges, Nut Cookies with Marzipan, and more… Let´s see how far I´ll get!

The recipe for these Nut Wedges is ancient – it is from a TV magazine from the late 80s or early 90s, I do not really remember. Nut Wedges were among the first Christmas cookies I ever made. As back then I was just getting started with baking, I found the recipe challenging, especially as there was a mistake with the measurements. Meanwhile I know how to make these cookies fast and without problems, and I have corrected the measurement-mistake long ago.

I always bake Nut Wedges according to this recipe, as I know it will work!

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Ingredients:

Short pastry / Dough:
2 cups (250 g) flour or whole wheat flour
⅓ cup (70 g) brown sugar
1 stick (125 g) butter
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
½ jar of apricot jam (or another jam you like, e.g. strawberry)

Topping:
3 cups (300 g) ground hazelnuts
1 stick (125 g) butter
½ cup (100 g) brown sugar
3 tbsp. water

Chocolate glazing:
8.8 oz. (250 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free
⅓-½ cup (80 g-100 g) butter

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Preparation:
Short pastry / dough:

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 400 ° F (200° C).

Put flour, sugar and salt onto the work surface. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Add egg and butter to the flour mixture. With your hands, quickly knead to a dough. If possible, let the dough rest in the fridge/a cool place for half an hour.

Alternatively use a kitchen machine:
Knead the ingredients with a dough hook until you get a firm dough. I mostly use this method when making short pastry. It is fast and works well. It also keeps my hands clean!

Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 8×12 inches (20×30 cm). You can do so either directly on the baking sheet (covered with baking paper), or on a sheet of baking paper which you then transfer to the baking sheet together with the dough. Put a baking frame around the dough so you can spread the topping right to the edge.

Evenly spread the apricot jam on the dough.

For the topping, cut the butter into small pieces. Put butter, sugar and water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the oven and stir in the ground hazelnuts. Allow the mixture to cool.

Evenly spoon the hazelnut mixture over the jam. Spread with a knife or a pastry spatula and press down a little (using your hands helps!).

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cut into small triangles while still warm. You do not have to separate the triangles yet.

Let the triangles cool on the sheet.

For the chocolate glazing, cut (or break) chocolate and butter into small pieces. Put chocolate and butter in a small pot and melt in a double boiler, or at low heat on the oven. Stir well. If the glazing is runny, add more chocolate. If it is not runny enough, add more butter.

Dip the Nut Wedges into the chocolate glazing and let them cool on a cooling rack.

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Keep in an airtight cookie tin.