Naughty, please

December 12, 2011

My sister visited for the weekend and we indulged in a holiday baking extravaganza making caramel blondies, eggnog muffins and coal cookies (the undisputed favorite).

These “lumps of coal” are simply delicious.  If you have to be naughty to get them … it’s well worth it.  The only difficulty is that they are so sinfully chocolaty that each one you eat earns you another.  A dangerous cycle.

Kids, DO try this one at home.  Recipe  after the jump:

Coal Cookies

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups (10 ounces) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips*

*Or a mixture of raisins, chips, and nuts.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment. Or lightly grease a mini-muffin pan. Or use a combination of pans: the recipe makes 36 cookies.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, then the flour; the dough will be stiff. Mix in the chocolate chips, or the chips/raisins/nuts.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls (about 1 1/2″ balls, about 1 1/8 ounces) onto the prepared baking sheets, or into the mini-muffin cups; a tablespoon cookie scoop is the perfect tool for this. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (on a baking sheet); 15 minutes (in an aluminum mini-muffin pan), or 21 minutes (in a silicone mini-muffin pan); they’ll look not-quite-done in the center. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes; or the mini muffins to cool for 20 minutes. Gently squeeze and shape the cookies into uneven balls, to resemble chunks of coal. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

Note: Cookies stay fresh at room temperature no longer than a week. For extended storage, bake, then freeze immediately to serve later.

recipe via kingarthurflour.com

We tried adding bits of caramel to these but had to pick them out of the second half of the dough as they just melted all over the parchment paper.  A better idea might be dried cherries.

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