And so it begins…

6 Feb

I’ve been baking with my mum since I was barely tall enough to see over the kitchen counter. Only recently have I really gotten passionate about baking to the point where I check a dozen different baking blogs multiple times per day, and have a long list of recipes that I’m dying to try. When I bring treats to share at school I practically get mauled. It seems like when people see me with a tray of cookies or a box of cupcakes everyone I know in a one mile radius is automatically notified. Another thing that seems to be happening more frequently, is people asking me for a recipe. This is the main reason for my blog: to share recipes and pictures with my friends and fellow bakers out there.

The first recipe I’ll share is one I made two weeks ago during my final exams. I made the dough ahead of time, and kept it in the refrigerator so that I could take out the perfect amount each day. I ended up giving most of them away to my teachers (who were in serious need of a pick-me-up) and a dozen or so went to various friends (who were also in need of a pick-me-up.) I always find it strange how people seem to forget to show teachers appreciation during first semester finals. I mean, who do you think is grading all those tests, listening to all those presentations, and reading all those essays? At the end of the week when we get to relax without homework, teachers are stuck with piles of things to score, and final grades to update.

Anyway, as soon as I saw the recipe posted on Bakerella’s website, I knew I had to make them, and I knew they’d be the perfect treat for my deserving teachers. They are Chocolate Crackle Cookies!

I started off melting the chocolate (Ghirardelli semi-sweet) in a double boiler.

I love how it comes in a gold package. It reminds me of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets. I really love that movie!

In a separate bowl I mixed the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. The cocoa powder I use is also Ghirardelli, specifically “Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa”. I definitely don’t recommend using Hershey’s or store-brand cocoa because you need to do this recipe right! Besides, I have a thing against Hershey’s, but I’ll save that for another day.

When the chocolate is completely melted, set it aside to cool. While that glorious chocolate is melting, put the butter and brown sugar in a mixer.

Mix the butter and sugar until combined.

Then it’s time to add the vanilla and eggs. Once that’s combined it’s time to pour in that glorious chocolate…

After the chocolate is added, mix until combined. Feel free to lick the bowl for any last remnants of chocolate. I know I did!

With the mixer on low, alternate between the dry mixture and the milk until combined.

Divide your dough into fourths, wrap with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge for 2 hours. Use this time to study for tests or to clean the kitchen. Or, you know, to watch a few episodes of Modern Family. You know you want to.

Take your first batch of dough and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to make sure it’s super cold. While you do this put powdered sugar into one bowl, and regular granulated sugar into another. Then the magic begins. Divide the dough into 12 equal(ish) squares.

Take one chunk at a time and quickly roll between your hands. You will get a thin layer of chocolate all over your hands as it starts to melt, but if you wash your hands between every few cookies you should be fine. Once you have one ball rolled, first roll it in the granulated sugar.

Then roll it in the powdered sugar. After a few cookies, I found that I got better results if I flattened the cookie slightly, covered it in the powdered sugar lightly, and put extra on the top side. You’ll find a technique that works for you after a few cookies.

I baked six cookies at a time for 12 minutes. While 6 were in the oven I had plenty of time to get the other six ready. I was so excited at how pretty they turned out!

I think the best part was the underside. The sugar had caramelized on the bottom and formed a thin, sugary shell.

Then again, the tops were pretty awesome too.

Then, I used some pretty boxes leftover from Christmas and some polka dot tissue paper to package the cookies. All my teachers seemed to really appreciate them, and everyone who tasted them said they were amazing.

So here’s the link to the recipe on Martha Stewart’s website: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/favorite-chocolate-crackle-cookies

and the link to Bakerella’s gorgeous post that made me want to make them: http://www.bakerella.com/chocolate-crackles/

Happy Baking! 🙂

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