Thursday, 13 September 2007

A sweet mosaic of cookies

I just couldn't resist buying the Australian cookbook Sweet Food when I first browsed through it in a bookstore (actually it was the second time, but first sounds so much more poetical). For me a big deal of the recipes inside are exotic, using ingredients that are unusual in an Estonian kitchen - macadamia nuts for example, which are quite often in the ingredient lists. Ask an average Estonian what a macadamia nut is - you'll probalby hear the answer 'Misasi?' or - in English - 'A what?'

One of the first recipes that caught my eye was of cracked cookies (the name may differ in the English version, as I'm re-translating the recipe from Estonian). Their appearance is just that I was sure I'd be making them before I'd even read through the recipe. The cool look is achieved by rolling balls of cookie dough in powdered sugar before baking - that will leave a two-coloured cracked effect.

I substituted the allspice in the recipe with a double amount of cinnamon and pecan nuts with walnuts. I do have a budget, you know.

Cracked chocolate cookies
(adapted from Sweet Food)

125 g soft butter
370 g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
60 g melted chocolate
80 ml milk
340 g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
85 g chopped walnuts
powdered sugar

  1. Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is light and creamy.
  2. Add eggs one by one
  3. Add chocolate and milk (I was afraid that chocoalte would turn lumpy when added to the cool mixture and mixed it with warm milk first).
  4. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt onto the butter mixture and mix well.
  5. Add chopped walnuts.
  6. Cover the dough and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours (you can also prepare the dough the evening before)
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C and slightly grease 2 griddles.
  8. Use a teaspoon for measuring and make balls out of the dough (the recipe said this technique would make about 60 cookies - I got over 80 though I scooped quite much dough every time)
  9. Roll each ball in a small bowl with powdered sugar so that it's covered well and place the balls onto the griddles, leaving enough space between them
  10. According to the recipe you should bake the cookies for 20-25 min. I baked my best batch only for 18 minutes - the edges shouldn't look very dark when you take the cookies out of the oven. Even if they don't get burnt - too much time mean rock cookies.
  11. After removing from the oven, leave for about 3-4 minutes, then place on a rack and let cool.

I subconsciously tried to find the cookies I had baked for 18 minutes afterwards - they were softer inside and seemed to have more taste. The cookies were moderately sweet and had a charming scent of cinnamon. This is rather a cacao-holic cookie than a chocoholic one, if I'm allowed to say such a thing! And I do believe one can't refuse eating something that looks like a sweet mosaic. Even if he or she has accidentally used a too long baking time and it cracks under the tooth like a real one:)

I wouldn't say these were the best cookies ever, but they were good and looked like A-class celebrities. That's great enough for me!


foodhoe said...

mmm those look delicious, and your pictures are lovely!

Evelin said...

Thank you!

This is me - choosing what to make by the deliciousness of the pictures beside the recipes. Does one EVER get over that?:)

Julie said...

I love these, I know them as Crinkle Cookies they are just wonderfully delicious.

Evelin said...

Crinkle cookies? that sounds so lovely:)