Showing posts with label sweets 'n treats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweets 'n treats. Show all posts

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Pecan Cookies w/Fleur de Sel. Method #2, FAVORITE !


i know you've all seen this cookie before...but
THIS ONE IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT...
i've done them before, BUT i used Franscois Payard's Recipe and method.  they are similar in taste, but i hate to say this recipe received better reviews.  i'm not saying Franscois weren't absolutely delicious...i'm just saying these are DIFFERENT and to each his own.
these are more dense and thicker than the "Payard Cookie"...
and, as usual... i've added a touch of espresso and a little kick of cayenne.

these are more like intense little chewy crunchy lumps of chocolate coal.
they seem to hold up better and will package well for for your chocolate loving friends.


these are too easy to pass up...
the flourless chocolate fudge cookie is a must for that intense chocolate fix.  it's definitely the chocolate lover's cookie.  i know you have some gluten-free friends or there's always a gluten free person in the room and you don't want to leave them out.  more and more people are going gluten free just for health's sake, so you better throw some of these delicious lumps of chocolaty goodness in your repertoire.


FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO PECAN FUDGE COOKIES W/ fleur de sel

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fluer de sel or smoked salt.....plus more for sprinkles
3 large egg whites
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups toasted pecans
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp cayenne...optional
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

preheat oven to 350F degrees.  line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  give the parchment a LIGHT spray of non-stick spray or a quick swipe of the butter stick.
in a bowl of a stand mixer, mix powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cayenne and salt.
mixer on LOW, add egg whites one at a time.  add vanilla.

HERE ARE THE 3 MAIN DIFFERENCES...
#1...mix on medium speed for 10-12 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly thick.
now...stir in the toasted pecans by hand.  i went ahead and threw them in the mixer for a minute, then finished by hand.  let the batter sit in the bowl for about 15-20 minutes...it will thicken.
#2...place on prepared sheet and let sit for another 15-20 minutes.  i wanted to shoot the delicious dough so they sat for 25-30 minutes...this is how i got the "lumps of coal look" as seen in the 2 photos directly below.
#3...you've already done this, but there are only 3 egg whites not 4 like Payard's Recipe.  this makes for a thicker dough.
sprinkle with smoked salt while they sit in waiting.

put sheets in the oven and immediately lower the oven to 320F.  bake for 16-18 minutes, until outside looks cracked and shiny.  cool on cookie sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes then move cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
IMPORTANT NOTE about removing cookies from parchment...as noted in post about the "Payard Cookie", these cookies stick to the parchment even if you give it a light spray.  i do not recommend more spray.
when cookies are completely cool you need to carefully peel the cookie from the sheet.  do not use even a "thin" spatula.  it will mess up the bottom.  just peel the paper slowly from the cookie.

raw dough (above) after sitting out 25-30 minutes.  below is from same batch.

above is an example of the "Franscois Payard Flourless Chocolate Cookie".  as you can see it is a much thinner, but still fabulous, cookie.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jamaican Coconut Drops



these chunky little glistening globs are deeeelicious!

three ingredients...fresh coconut, fresh ginger and brown sugar.

they are definitely a labor of love...BUT they are totally worth the effort.

each ingredient shines on it's own, but together they make a fresh almost healthy tropical treat.  
 i have yet to go to Jamaica, but i discovered these are a very traditional treat and found just about everywhere...maybe as common as our chocolate chip cookie...? 


they sound easy enough to make, with only three ingredients...but it's  those three ingredients that are a bit of a bear...the cubed coconut meat, diced fresh ginger and cooked down brown sugar.  still, i say well worth it.

here are some tips i have found very helpful...

#1...THE COCONUT...getting to the meat of the matter
buy the brown dried coconut and shake it to make sure it still has it's coconut water.  poke holes in the eyes of the nut (the three indentations at one end).  drain water and reserve for a cool refreshing drink.  now, whack the coconut on the ground to get a nice crack in it,  place on a sheet pan in a 400 F degree oven for about 10 - 15 minutes.  remove and let cool to the touch.  whack it again on the ground or with a hammer to break open and into large pieces.  the meat should now be easily removed from the shell.  gently pry out the meat with a butter knife or i use the end of a screw driver.  the meat will still have a brown outer layer...use a potato peeler to remove this and you will have beautiful white coconut meat ready for dicing.

#2  THE GINGER...to peel...simply use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the outer skin.  it's much easier than a paring knife and less wasteful.

#3  THE BROWN SUGAR...can't help ya there.  reducing the brown sugar mixture just takes time,  near continuous stirring and a watchful eye.


JAMAICAN COCONUT DROPS

1 lb. coconut meat diced...from 1 1/2 0r 2 brown coconuts
i used almost 4 cups
4.5 ounces (125g) fresh ginger diced...about 1 cup
2 cups packed golden brown brown sugar
3 cups water

spray a large cookie sheet with non stick spray (or i used parchment).  combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. stir ingredients over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil.  attach a candy thermometer to the pan or just stick it in to check where your at. boil until the mixture starts to thicken and the temperature reaches 295 F degrees.  use a large spoon to continuously stir so as not to burn on the bottom or the sides of the pot...stir more towards the thickening stage.  one of the recipes said 15 minutes, but mine took more like 40 minutes.  
NOTE...it is hard to get a proper read on the thermometer when it is almost done.  look for the sugar to caramelize, sugar begins to form at the bottom of the pot and it becomes very hard to stir.
lower the heat to the lowest flame or setting...working quickly, drop about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each coconut drop onto prepared baking sheet.  let sit until cool and firm.  
these are best eaten within a few days.  i noticed the sugar becomes more crystallized the longer they sit, but still yummy.

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