Pecan Cookies with Chocolate

Cookies, Recipes

I am still in search of the perfect cookie… Last week I attended a five-days long advanced training at university. Because of my lactose-intolerance and fructose-intolerance, I sometimes have a hard time finding agreeable food at the cafeteria or in restaurants. So I decided to take some home-made cookies with me, just in case – I do not like being hungry!

Here they are, the Pecan Cookies with Dark Chocolate (lactose-free):

PekanCookies 1

 and the Pecan Cookies with White Chocolate (not lactose-free):

 PekanCookies 2

I was right with my skepticism concerning cafeteria food. As suspected, the food was not ideal for me. I wasn´t starving, though, rather the opposite – I felt stuffed by all those grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato-mozzarella-wraps! Not even the lactase pills helped. I think next time I´ll bring home-made granola with me instead of cookies, and buy lactose-free joghurt at the supermarket!

Of course I still ate the cookies, despite feeling stuffed. The cookies had that irresistible “have-one-more” taste…

PekanCookies 3

The cookies also passed the quality-test at home: My teenager-son emptied the cookie tin in no time. He then called me while I was in that advanced training and told me he wanted more cookies. So. It seems that with this recipe, I might be one step closer to the perfect cookie!

To my surprise, all my test-eaters preferred the lactose-free variety with the dark chocolate to the original white-chocolate-variety.

PekanCookies 4

Ingredients:
1⅛ cup (250 g) soft butter (lactose-free, if you are very sensitive to lactose)
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1⅛ cup (200 g) brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
4 cups (400 g) flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
¾ cup (100 g) pecans, chopped

For lactose-free cookies:
7.2 oz. (200 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free, coarsely chopped (e.g. Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)

For cookies with lactose:
7.2 oz. (200 g white) chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preparation:
In a small bowl, combine flour,, salt and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla sugar with a hand mixer or the kitchen machine until fluffy. Add one egg and beat it in for at least one minute, then add the second egg and beat in for another minute.

Add the flour mixture and beat until you get a smooth batter. Do not overbeat.

With a wooden spoon, fold in the chopped nuts and the chopped chocolate.

Separate the batter into two portions and press each portion into a log of about 6-7 inches (15-18 cm). The diameter should be 2-3 inches, depending on how big you want your cookies. I prefer large cookies!

Wrap the logs into cling foil and store in the fridge for about two hours or more. The cold logs will be firm.

Now it´s time for baking the cookies: Cover baking sheets with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 340° F (170° C).

Remove the cling foil. Cut the logs into slices of about an inch. If necessary, press the slices into a round shape. I did not manage to make my logs as round as planned, so I had to shape the cookies by hand. This was quick and easy and no problem at all.

Put the cookies onto the baking sheets. Make sure you leave enough space between them; they will rise and spread. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until they are quite flat and golden brown at the edge.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a short time, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 24 large cookies.

 PekanCookies 5

Adapted from:

Tarek Malouf (2013), Kuchenglück. Ostfildern: Jan Thorbecke Verlag.

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!

Schoko Schock 4

Schoko Schock 5

Schoko Schock 6

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!

Schoko Schock 3

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.