Saturday, August 14, 2010

[Cookie 087] Chocolate-Ginger Leaves and Acorns

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Well, well, I ain't gone yet. Technically I am, but at the very moment I'm enjoying a relaxing, peaceful stay at the JFK airport...for eight hours. Eight hour layover. I love traveling. Turns out that the student-discount website that I bought my tickets from neglected to inform me that my flight number was changed to a flight leaving an hour later than I had expected, thus giving me eight hours to hang out in the airport. If I had known sooner, I would have taken a later flight to JFK from LAX, and not had to wake up at 3:30 in the morning, but that wouldn't have been any fun now would it?

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Okay, okay, it's not so bad. It could be going the other way--me missing my flight by eight hours. And hell, I'm going to AFRICA so I guess I shouldn't really be complaining. I'm doing what I can to pass the time (I bought wifi access for the day, which is how I'm writing this duhhh), and I ate at one of those ridiculous sit-down "restaurants" in the airport, the food at which was thoroughly mediocre. Maybe after this I'll watch some episodes of The Daily Show or Community, or work on my portfolio website. Oh the things I can get done! All while sitting in this vomit-colored leather chair by a window overlooking a massive jumbo British Airways jet. Productivity AND ambiance!

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So let's talk about these cookies that I made like 6 weeks ago (whoops, lazy blogging--I couldn't care less). These Chocolate-Ginger Leaves and Acorns really didn't seem like the right cookie to make in July, but I had the ingredients hangin' around--minus the molasses, which warranted a quick trip to Pavilions. The recipe is very simple, even for this cookbook, and satisfied my urge to bake something. However, the resultant cookie wasn't really anything to write home about. It tastes nice, but nothing unusual. And as you can see, I didn't really feel like going out and buying leaf- and acorn-shaped cookie cutters, so I made cats, hearts, and misshapen free-form circle things!

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I bet I'm not alone when I say I hate rerolling scraps of dough a million times for cookie-cutter recipes, right? So after a while I either just give up and eat the rest of the dough (NO SHAME!!!) or I roll the dough into balls and flatten them with a fork. Yeah, yeah, they don't cook the same way as the thin cookie-cutter cookies, but this way I get a few under-baked ones, which I love. Everyone's happy, especially me.

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So, I guess that's all I have to say about these. I wish I had some epic, hilarious, and tragic story to tell that's related to making these, just so I could pass some more time here at Gate 6 in Terminal 7, but I don't. I guess it's time for me to start playing Farmville again...kidding!! Sort of.

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Chocolate-Ginger Acorns
Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in medium bowl.
  • Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg, molasses, and grated ginger; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.
  • Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft at any time, freeze until firm.) Cut out shapes with 3-inch acorn- or leaf-shaped cookie cutters; space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  • Score designs with a paring knife; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until firm, 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 2/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
    Tastiness: 3.5/5
    Attractiveness: 4/5
    Is it worth it?: Yeah, I guess. I am thoroughly indifferent about these.

    {Pairings}
    Drink: Because they are pretty subtle in flavor, I wouldn't drink anything with these, per se.
    Song: Who Knows Who Cares -- Local Natives
    Activity: I could see serving these at an autumn party--a Harvest Party!! Ooh someone please do that! I'm so sad I'm going to miss fall, my favorite season...but I just don't think the leaves are going to change in Ghana all that much.

    3 comments:

    Becky said...

    Hope you have an amazing experience in Africa. sounds awesome. these sound like super fun cookies for an autumn party. Enjoy.

    Main Street said...

    Wow, have fun in Ghana, that's awesome! I just wanted to drop by and let you know that we baked some Martha cookies over on our blog. I hope you don't mind but I mentioned your blog in the post, to let our small readership know how neat it is! Sounds like you will be quite busy but when you have a second you should drop by and check it out. Looking forward to hearing about the African chocolate and more! :)

    Best Hamburger Recipe said...

    wow! what a delicious recipe site! thanx 4 sharing!