Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chocolate Sparklers

The Chocolate Sparklers from Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Desserts have a crumbly texture, but not all the way through. The logs are rolled in sugar before they are baked, giving the cookies a delicious crunchy edge. The recipe makes two logs, so you can enjoy one today, and keep the second in your freezer to be sliced and baked at your convenience. The Sparklers are easy to make, one just needs to take care not to overmix the dough once the flour is added.
  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • A pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of salt
  • 10 oz butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 c plus 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Sugar for coating (I used Demerara sugar)
Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt. Beat butter, then gradually add sugar and vanilla as you continue beating until the mixture is creamy. (Take care not to beat in too much air; using the paddle attachment will help.) Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture; beat only until the ingredients are mixed and the dough is uniform. Divide the dough in half, shape each into a ball, wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Form each ball into a 1 1/2"x7 1/2" log. Flatten the logs slightly with the heel of your hand to make sure that there won't be air pockets left. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. (At this point, the dough can be stored at the freezer for a month.)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the egg yolk and brush the logs with it. Spread some sugar on a piece of parchment paper. Roll the logs in sugar until they are uniformly coated. Cut each log into 1/2" slices, and arrange the slices on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving some space in between. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are just firm to touch. Remove the cookes from the sheets to a rack to cool.