Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brownie Thins (cookies)

It may be a bit hard to see here, but those cookies are thin. THIN. Really THIN. But chocolately, rich, just like eating the top off of a rich brownie. Or maybe the very top of a muffin, even.
Usually when we return from a European trip, I'm craving salads and greens, and vegetables. Not so this time because we had ample on the ship. In fact, Lucy and I raved about the quality of the designer lettuces they served at the salad bar every day. Absolutely fresh from the fields that very day. And delicious dressings, all home made. But what I did crave upon our return was chocolate. We had almost none on the trip. A couple of times we had chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream, and we had something similar at the dinner at Gundel. And one night they offered a chocolate terrine. I was sad to decline that but I knew the caffeine would keep me awake that night. But otherwise, chocolate didn't figure much in the shipboard menus.
So, since the cookie barrel is empty around here, I decided to make something chocolate. I was leafing through the December issue of Bon Appetit (how come I'm getting the December issue in the first or 2nd week of November, I ask you?), and spotted these chocolate thins.
These are made in a bowl, so quite easy. It couldn't have taken more than 15 minutes to complete the preparation, and another 20 minutes max to bake them all. Pretty cinchy. And, they are really delicious. But I do warn: they're very fragile. I'll have to figure out how to package these carefully so they don't break - they tend to break in half very easily. But they're very tasty.
Added note 3 days later: these cookies are so, SO thin, they're not easy to serve. You pick them up and they break apart, I'm sad to say. So, make them a bit thicker when you pat out the dough, and make sure they are getting browned around the edges. These are soft cookies - there's nothing crispy about them. But the chocolately taste is wonderful.

You whip these up in a bowl - no mixer needed. I used good Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate in these.

There they are on the Silpat before baking. It's a bit tricky spraying the plastic wrap, laying it over the little blobs of dough, then very gently patting the cookies out thin. I wonder if I made them a tad too thin? Maybe next time I'll try them a bit thicker just to see. Once you remove the plastic wrap, you add the nuts. I used walnuts because that's what I had on hand.

Brownie Thins
Recipe: Andrew Schloss, "Homemade in a Hurry" via Bon Appetit, Dec. 2007
Servings: 24
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate -- chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 piece kosher salt
1/4 cup pistachio nut -- or walnuts
1. Position rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 350. Butter 2 baking sheets. (I used a silpat in each).
2. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe medium sized bowl. Microwave on medium-high power until almost completely melted, about one minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add sugar and egg and whisk until smooth, about one minute. Add flour (both quantities), both extracts and salt, stir just to blend. Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
3. Scoop rounded teaspoons batter onto prepared sheets, spacing apart (12 per pan). Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place, sprayed side down, on top of cookies. Using your fingers, press each mound into 2 1/2 to 2/3/4 inch rounds. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle nuts on top.
4. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until slightly darker at edges and firm in center, about 7 minutes. Cool on rack for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely. Can be made 5 days ahead and stored at room temperature.
NOTES : These taste just like the way the very top layer of a brownie tastes. They're extremely fragile until they're cool, and even then, they're still fragile. Let them cool completely and put waxed paper or plastic wrap between layers.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 69 Calories; 5g Fat (62.1% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 17mg Cholesterol; 82mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
To view a PDF recipe, click title at top.

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