Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Smitten Kitchen's Brownie Cookies

To be honest, I was skeptical when I saw this cookie recipe on Smitten Kitchen because I was wondering how good can this be when there are so few ingredients required and it was so simple? No out of the ordinary ingredients were required, no fancy smancy techniques either. Really?

Still, as both Hubs and Bubs love anything rich and chocolaty, I decided to give this a try.

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies*
Recipe from Deb’s mom
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (225 grams) lightly salted butter, softened (Deb note: I don’t really see “lightly salted” much these days, so I used one stick salted, one stick unsalted)
1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (approximately 60 grams — weights can vary a bit depending on brand. I use the “good” stuff–Droste, Galler or Valrhona –but I can assure you that my mother only used Hershey’s growing up, so your choice)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

A couple of changes (as always) I made:
  • Cut down the sugar to 1 1/4 cup as I usually find American dessert recipes too sweet. Substituted the butter to unsalted.
  • Used Dutch processed cocoa. This is near to impossible to find at supermarkets, even Cold Storage in Penang so I was lucky to find a baking supply shop that carries this (I Home at Tg Bungah) 
  • Under baking these gems is the key! I overbaked the first batches and they became like biscuits instead, crisp and brittle. If you prefer a soft, pillow-y texture, keep a careful eye on them in the oven and pull them out 1 - 2 mins ahead of time. They continue to harden whilst on the wire rack.
Bub's favourites all lined up: cookies, Lego minifigs and fruit. Nice way to spend the afternoon.

The cookies are intense with a rich, chocolaty taste and go down beautifully with a tall glass of cold milk. The toughest thing about this simple recipe is portion control - don't tell Hubs and Bubs that I hid them right at the back of the fridge :)

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