Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

After tackling croissants with our last TWD recipe, this seemed too simple.  A basic cookie dough recipe: whisk together dry ingredients, including the essential instant coffee powder, cream the butter, sugar and eggs;  mix them together; add chocolate and the optional apricot pieces.   The few tricks or extras needed for this recipe were to let the dough chill in the fridge before baking and to double up the baking pans to prevent burning on the bottoms.  Easy.

They turned out just fine.  They were a bit thinner than my perfect cookie but they had the right ratio of chewiness to crunchiness.  And the chocolate chunks were heavenly when just warm out of the oven.  As for the apricots, I could take them or leave them.  If I use them next time, I would add a touch more salt to balance out their sweetness.

On a total side note.  This may be my last recipe using my grandma's mixer.  I just got a new, heavier- duty Kitchen Aid mixer (Thanks, Sorrel!).  I absolutely love using my grandma's mixer because I know it's history, and it provides some connection to her for me.  But the fact is, the motor smells and burns if I use it anywhere above medium speed...  maybe I will just use it until it completely dies, knowing that I have a replacement in the ready.  We'll see.  I still have her rolling pin and that is not going anywhere...

For this recipe, see our host's site here:  http://galettista.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/mocha-chocolate-chips/

Rhiannon and Quinn

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


After making these, I believe every croissant made in the traditional French fashion should cost $10.    And that would be a bargain.

These took a full day and a half to create (a lot of it is rest time) with serious bouts of rolling and elbow grease.   Those delicate layers seen above belie the work and intensity needed to make them.

The recipe starts fairly basic with a stout, yeasted dough made in a mixer (even my borrowed professional mixer struggled with its thickness).  The butter is prepped with a little flour to absorb any water.  The dough and the butter are then shaped into ovals and rested in the refrigerator overnight.

Then comes the most interesting part.  After enveloping the butter with the dough like a purse, it is beaten (preferably with a french rolling pin without handles) until the butter spreads outward into the entirety of the dough.  It actually works.  Then after a few light rolls, it rests in the fridge for about 2 hours.

And the day continues on like this.  Roll, fold, rest.  Roll fold, rest.  Roll fold rest.  Yes, three cycles of this, or "turns" as they call it.  And the third turn is actually a double turn and the dough is le portefeuille (the wallet).  (Sounds so much better in French.)

roll & fold

roll & fold

my wallet

Finally, it can be rolled one more time, cut and then shaped into crescents.   For this part, I cut too many triangles and wound up making petite croissants.   But luckily, I still had half of my dough left, and I could recoup my mistakes and make bigger chocolate croissants.   All the better.  I did not have any "batons" of chocolate but rough chopped chocolate worked just fine.

my petite croissants

Then, unbelievably, they rise for 3-4 more hours before baking.  (Now I understand why bakers have to get up so early in the morning.)  Then it is a short 15-17 minutes in the oven.

So, we ate them at 9pm.  They were perfect dessert croissants.  And the taste of the chocolate ones fresh from the oven may entice me to make them again.  Maybe.  But I also wouldn't mind paying $10 for one, now that I know how to make one...

This recipe is made with the Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia baking group.  Visit our host's site for the full recipe.

The drink needed to tackle this recipe.

And Rhiannon: