Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chocolate Dipped Crescent Cookies

Sunday afternoon, we baked holiday cookie #2: Chocolate Dipped Crescents. These are my mom's favorite. These also are labor intensive but with a terrific pay-off for all the work. Notice how my parents like the annoying, labor intensive cookies?!

This is a recipe I found in one of my mom's cookbooks. She once worked supervising the kitchen of a personal care home and they received lots of cookbooks, some of which she was allowed to bring home. I forget the exact title of the cookbook, but it's something like "The Great American Name Brand Cookbook."

The dough for these cookies uses some typical ingredients (2 sticks butter, flour, egg, and baking soda) and to set it apart from others, almond extract (no vanilla) and powdered sugar (no granulated sugar, no brown sugar) and cream of tartar. The dough is mixed in the usual order of ingredients (cream butter & sugar, add wet ingredients, add dry ingredients). It is then shaped into crescent shaped cookies. So I once again parked myself at the kitchen table and took teaspoon sized blobs of dough, rolled them into balls, then shaped them into a logs, and then finally into crescents. Once again, my hands got all gooey and sticky. SP sat this round of shaping dough out - he figured that mixing up the dough and cleaning up was enough. He went to watch the Steelers game while I shaped crescents. I wasn't real happy with how the crescents were turning out. I think I was shaping between my fingers too much and should have just been shaping between my palms. They looked OK after baking - not as lumpy as when I placed the shaped dough on the cookie sheets.

I shaped 48 crescents which baked for 8-10 minutes.After cooling, the crescents are dipped in melted chocolate.

We used melted Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. In the past I've sometimes used melted milk chocolate chips and one time melted dark chocolate chips. We have some double boiler pot sets we could use to melt the chocolate, but my favorite way to melt chocolate is with my 'invented' double boiler. I use a hot pot - like the one I had in my dorm room during college - and set a glass bowl over the hot pot.I melted the chocolate and set about dipping half of each crescent in the chocolate. After dipping, they are arranged on parchment lined cookie sheets and placed in the refrigerator for the chocolate to set.The cookie sheet just fit in our side-by-side refrigerator!!

After the chocolate is set, the non-dipped halves are dusted with powdered sugar. Usually I manage to dust the chocolate halves as well!! I use a mesh tea strainer for dusting. I have a so-called 'real' powdered sugar sprinkler doo-hickey but mine doesn't have a mesh cover, just a cover with holes and consequently when using it to sprinkle powdered sugar, it sprinkles in clumps rather than a fine, light dusting. I much prefer the mesh tea strainer.These cookies are so darn good. Once again, we set some aside for my mom & dad, some for us this week, and froze some for later in the month.

I don't often freeze cookies. I am somewhat dubious of freezing cookies. I much prefer them freshly baked rather than baked-frozen-thawed. Usually I have enough time and help to do marathon baking the 3-5 days before Christmas (2-3 cookies a day) but this year there is much less free time for cookie baking right before the holidays.

I layered the cookies in a plastic container. I put waxed paper between each layer. In the past, I have frozen chocolate chip cookies and I actually really like them partially frozen/cold (a woman whose children I baby-sat when I was a teenager once told me she liked her chocolate chip cookies frozen and that's why she kept hers in the freezer; I tried it & liked it). My personal preference is to take cookies out of the freezer to thaw no more than 2-3 hours before eating them.

It could be my imagination, but I can tell when my cookies have been frozen much like I can tell the difference between a fresh English muffin and one I froze and then thawed. I am hoping for the best right now, and hoping that no one else will notice a 'cookie that got frozen and then thawed' taste.

3 comments:

  1. They look amazing! Another job well done! I have elected to freeze mine, the same way you described. I will thaw then package. My aunt always did this with her cookies growing up and I don't think it affected the taste. I also really enjoy frozen cookies. I'm strange.

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  2. These cookies are awesome and my family loves them! I had this cook book but it got damaged and I could not find this recipe until now! I used to make these cookies every Christmas!

    Thanks Yum Yum!

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