November 18, 2014

Holiday Cookies by Chicago Tribune

Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes from the Chicago Tribune for Cookies, Bars, Brownies and More
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons

It was a dark and stormy....cookie!? No, I've not lost my mind, I've just found my new favorite cookie! Dorie's Dark and Stormies are a decadent chocolate cookie with dark chocolate chunks, and I'm in love! A comfy chair, crackling fire, cup of coffee and one of these cookies (or a whole plate!)...what could be more delightful?

I really love this cookbook. It is full of delicious, prize-winning recipes, gorgeous photos and easy to find information on prep time, chill time, bake time and cooling time. The book is divided into sections: Simple Drop Cookies, Sugar & Spice, Fruit & Nut Treats, Chocolate Delights, Sandwich Cookies and Brownies & Bars. If you're looking for healthy treats for the holiday, you won't find them here. Butter is king in this book. Now, nothing makes a good cookie like real butter, but some of these recipes have as much as a pound of butter in them! (I can see why they won prizes!!) With butter prices the way they are right now, that might curtail a little of my holiday baking--but only a little. There are so many recipes that I love or still want to try from this book. I adore the classic Nut Crescents, Dottie's Mexican Wedding Cookies, classic Shortbread Cookies and Black-Out Cookies. My husband will love the Coffee Toffee, and next on my list is the Hazelnut Espresso Truffle Cookies.

This is a great cookbook to get you in the mood for all that holiday baking. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am happy to recommend it to all. As a little extra, I got permission to include the recipe for the Dark and Stormie cookies! Enjoy!!

I received a copy of this book from Agate Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dorie’s Dark and Stormies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 25 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Bake time: 14 minutes per batch

1¼ cups flour
⅓ cup Dutch process cocoapowder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon sea salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits

1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together in small bowl; set aside. Beat the butter until smooth in bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed. Add the sugars, vanilla and salt; beat 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add the flour mixture, mixing until incorporated but still crumbly, and being careful not to overwork the dough. Stir in the chocolate pieces.
2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface; squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. (If you need to, it’s OK to lightly flour the work surface.) Gather the dough into a ball; divide in half. Shape each ball into a log 11/2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour.
3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Gently slice logs into 1/2-inch rounds using a serrated knife (some will crumble; simply press broken bits back onto cookie). Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
4. Bake, one sheet at a time, 14 minutes; cookies will not look done or be firm. Cool on pan 5 minutes; transfer to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature.

Note: Dough can be made ahead and frozen. Frozen dough doesn’t need to be defrosted before baking; just slice logs and bake 1 minute longer. Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature up to 3 days or frozen up to a month.

Chicago Tribune recipe for one-time use only in conjunction with reviews or coverage of Holiday Cookies by Agate Publishing and the Chicago Tribune.

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