Tag Archives: cocoa

The Stacks

 

The Stacks

The Stacks

I was trying to decide on a dessert to make for Altaf’s birthday and since he loves chocolate as much as I do, there was no doubt that it was going to definitely be chocolate related. I waffled throughout the week about what I was going to make and went through a few of my cook books looking for ideas. Well it came around to Saturday and I still had not come up with any idea. I happened to be reading King Arthur’s blog on cookies and spotted this cookie recipe that looked amazing.

So I went about making them. I will say they are very easy and a lot of fun to assemble. The one thing that is important is to roll them out evenly. I used a crinkle cookie cutter as I wanted to get a pretty edge. However, once the cookies were baked you could not really tell that they had a scalloped edge to them.  Another important factor is that you want them to all be the same thickness. These cookies do not spread so you can bake quite a few of the per sheet.

Once you have assembled them cookies refrigerate them. The longer you let them sit in the refrigerator the softer they become as the cream softens them. Which allows you to very neatly eat them with a spoon. They only stayed in my refrigerator for about 6 hours and were not really soft to be eaten with a spoon. Everyone ate them a cookie at a time licking the cream off of them just like you would a sandwich cookie.

I used Bailey’s to add a bit of oomph to the cookies but you can add Kahlua or any other liquor that would pair well.

 

Ingredients

Cookies (Makes 50) 

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 large egg (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder

 

Chocolate Baileys Cream
 
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish cream

 

Method

Cookies

Line two baking sheets (11×17) with silicone sheets or parchment paper.

Using your electric mixer (with the paddle attachment) beat the sugar, butter, salt, baking powder and espresso powder until well mixed.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.  Add the flour and cocoa powder and continue until combined.  Place the dough ball in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment/wax paper. I used the rubber guides on my rolling pin to get an 8th of an inch thickness. Well its pretty thin really. I used a circle crinkle cutter of about 1 1/2 inch. Place the cut cookies (they are not going to spread so they do not need to be placed far apart) on your baking sheet and then re-roll the remainder of the dough and repeat. The advantage of using the parchment paper is that you do not need to flour any surface.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes checking them prior to the 10 minutes and removing them if done. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.

Cream

Whisk the cream until it starts to thicken. Then add the sugar and cocoa powder and continue until you get soft peaks. Then beat for a little bit more. Add the bailey’s if using and fold into the whipped cream.

em>Assembling
Put a cookie, spoon a  tablespoon of filling then stack the next cookies and continue until you get a  5 layer stack. Gently press down each cookie as you add it to the stack. Top with some more cream. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Dust with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings before serving.

Advertisements

Mint Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Pudding

Mint Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Pudding

Mint Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Pudding

We had guests in town this weekend and it was a lot of fun. I asked Pooja to give me three ingredients that she liked so I could make her a dessert. She thought about it for a little bit and then decided on Chocolate and mint. I pondered for a bit on what to make as I did not want to make anything that involved baking, and I wanted to make something that was light but a little bit decadent. I did not want to incorporate the mint and chocolate as one dessert. This was to give anyone the option who did not want mint to have a mint free dessert. As it turns out we had one person who was not a fan of the combination so I used just whipped cream and sugar and topped it with chocolate chips. I was initially going to use peppermint extract to do the minty portion but then when I saw the mint Oreo cookies at Publix I decided to incorporate that into the dessert and leave out the extract.

The chocolate pudding is very simple to make, the only challenge if you want to call it a challenge is the amount of time to cook the pudding to get it to the right consistency. The best test method is dip a spoon into the mixture, let it cool for just a bit and then run your finger across the back of the spoon, if the pudding flows back to cover the line then the mixture is not thick enough.  Just remember that even if it is less thick when you are cooking it, it will thicken a little more as it cools and then when it is refrigerated. I added a little brandy to the pudding mixture right after all the chocolate had melted. It is totally optional and you can most certainly leave it out if you want to have and alcohol free dessert. The chocolate pudding is also not sweet since it has a low amount of sugar and it also has a fair amount of coffee.

I tried to add an alcohol flavoring to the cream topping – rum, brandy and baileys but they did not go really well with the mint cookies so the cream topping was alcohol free. If you do want the topping to look green you can always add food coloring but I liked the green against the white. The Oreo cookies also resulted in a nice burst of flavor every time you got to bite the tiny chunks of cookies with mint.

The dessert on the whole was really light and was really relished by everybody.

Ingredients
Chocolate pudding

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant Nescafe (or an instant coffee of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (optional)

Cream topping

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 12 Oreo cookies

Method

Chocolate Pudding

Put the first four ingredients into a pot. Add the milk and cream, whisking to incorporate. Put it on the stove on medium high heat. Stir or whisk slowly. You will see after about 30 seconds that the mixture beginning to incorporate and the milk begins to get a lovely chocolatey brown color. The mixture will start to thicken at around the 1 minute mark. This will actually depend on how high your heat has been set. The best way to test if your pudding is thick enough is to dip a clean spoon into the mixture and then let it cool for just a bit and run your finger across the back of the spoon. If you get a clear line that stays then your pudding is ready. If not keep stirring/whisking until you get to the right consistency. Once it is at the right consistency turn off the heat. Add the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate chips have melted and you have a smooth mixture. Add the brandy at this time if you are using it and stir to incorporate. Transfer the pudding to a wider glass dish. Put a clear plastic wrap on top of the pudding so it does not get a skin and set it aside to cool.

Cream topping

Once the pudding is cool start making the topping. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat. Once the sugar is added keep beating for about 20-30 seconds more to make sure it is incorporated and your cream is fairly thick.

Put the Oreo cookies into a plastic bag and coarsely crush them. Fold the crushed cookies into the cream.

Layer the pudding, top with the Oreo cookie cream and then add a cracked Oreo cookie on the top for decoration. Refrigerate for about an hour before you serve it.