Friday, February 22, 2008

CRISPY CHOCOLATE STICKS

This recipe is courtesy of McCall's Magazine. (Gosh, whatever happened to them, anyway?) In 1965 McCall's Food Editors published a series of cookbooks. The one referenced here is the Cookie Collection book. I've used some of the recipes over the years, but definitely not many, and thought I should try some of the recipes that I've heretofore ignored. Today's recipe is definitely different. First of all, the directions weren't as specific as they could have been. "Bake 20 minutes," is all it says. Usually you can tell when cookies are done, so I wasn't worried at first. Until I put them in the oven and saw how they baked. The butter frothed and bubbled all over the cookie base, so that you couldn't tell what was happening. I decided to follow the directions exactly and baked the cookies for the full 20 minutes. Amazingly, these cookies are edible, and they taste pretty good. They're strange looking, because the cookie layer is very thin, hence crispy -- except they're really not crispy as I was thinking of crispy. Regardless, I think 20 minutes is too long to bake these, because the cookies shrunk away from the pan quite a bit. Therefore, I would recommend baking them for 15 minutes.

Crispy Chocolate Sticks
INGREDIENTS:
Cookie Layer: 1 square unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. instant coffee powder (my addition)
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1 Tbsp. Stevia)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine before I chopped them.)

Filling: 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine ( I used Smart Balance)
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar (I used 3/4 cup 10X)
1 Tbsp. heavy cream or evaporated milk (I used 2 Tbsp. condensed milk)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp. coffee brandy + 1/2 tsp. coffee powder)
3 Tbsp. peanut butter (my addition)

Glaze: 1 square unsweetened chocolate (I used 1.25 oz. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate)
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine (I used Smart Balance)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan.
Make cookie layer: Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water (or in microwave). Add coffee powder and cool slightly. In medium bowl, beat egg until frothy. Stir in chocolate mixture and sugar. Add flour and pecans, stirring until well blended. Turn into prepared pan; bake about 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly on wire rack.

Make filling: In small bowl, blend all ingredients. Spread over cookie layer. Chill at least 10 minutes.

Make glaze: Melt chocolate and butter together over hot water. Pour over filling, tilting pan so glaze will flow evenly. (I had taken the cookie base out of the pan by this point, so I just poured the glaze over and spread it evenly with a spatula.) Here is the cookie layer with the filling and the glaze spread over top:

Refrigerate 15 minutes to harden glaze. With sharp knife, cut into sticks. Yield: 18. (I cut them wrong and wound up with short sticks. To get 18 "sticks" you will have to first cut 9 lengths. Since that's an odd number, I guess the best way to get it is to divide into 3 sections, cutting 3 long slices from each section. Then you can just cut the 9 lengths in half.

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