Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Truffle with Berries

I've wanted to bake cookies for a few weeks now, but I haven't done it.

First, I couldn't think of what exactly I wanted. Then, I spent the past week drying herbs and berries and cooking to clean up the produce in the refrigerator.

I wasn't sure I'd actually get around to making cookies today, but since there's only so much I can do with fresh produce (I'll only dry one kind of food at a time, and there's not much room in the freezer for multiple trays of berries), I finally baked a small batch of something a little different.

Early last year, I tried the recipe for Chocolate Charms from a holiday cookie magazine. The cookies are actually a cocoa-laden shortbread, but shaped into balls and dusted with cocoa powder, they look somewhat like truffles.

The simplicity of these cookies became a hit with the Dinner Club, and soon I found myself turning to the idea of dark chocolate shortbread in other creations.

Today, though, I thought I'd revisit the original recipe and take it in a different direction, playing a little with the flavor. Since my chocolate mint is running rampant around my rosebushes, I thought I'd take some fresh mint, run it through the food processor with the sugar for the recipe, and have dark chocolate truffle cookies with a refreshing mint edge.

And then I thought to myself, Self, you know there are a lot of fresh raspberries in the refrigerator, and you know raspberries go exceptionally well with both chocolate and mint. So what are you going to do about it?

What, indeed? Why not extend the truffle parallel and wrap the cookie dough around a fresh raspberry?

Ah yes, Dear Readers, I hear your general blissful sigh of approval. I quite agree.

And when there's a drizzle of melted extreme dark chocolate (thank you, Scharffen Berger!) on top of the baked cookies... well, I simply hope I don't cause an Internet riot because I can't share samples of these cookies with all of you.

Will you accept the recipe instead?

Chocolate Mint Truffle Surprise Cookies

Let me say here and now that I am not a Martha Stewart fan. But one year, I picked up her holiday cookie magazine, and I got a few worthwhile recipes from it. This recipe is based on her Chocolate Charms, but I've tried to make it both more wholesome, using whole grains and less refined sweeteners and local ingredients, and more decadent. If you don't have chocolate mint, peppermint will also work; you can also omit the mint altogether and simply enjoy the surprise of fresh berries. The recipe only makes a dozen cookies, true... but you'll only need one to satisfy that deep urge for dark chocolate.

1 c whole wheat flour
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T black cocoa
dash of salt
1/4 c maple sugar
8-10 small chocolate mint leaves (about 1 tsp fresh)
1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 fresh raspberries

Sift together flour, cocoa powders, and salt. Set aside.

In small food processor, grind sugar and mint leaves together until leaves are chopped very fine. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and mint mixture, blending well. Add vanilla, and cream until easier to handle. Add flour mixture in two batches, mixing until all flour is worked in and the dough holds together well.

Form dough into a ball, and wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 F. With clean hands, divide dough into a dozen chunks and roll into balls approximately 1 1/2" in diameter. Flatten each ball into a thin circle. Place one raspberry in the center of each circle and gently wrap the dough around the berry, sealing it inside. Smooth dough with fingers and place truffle on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies 25 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool completely.

If desired, melt 1 oz dark chocolate and drizzle over cookies. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Makes 1 dozen cookies


At 5/23/2007 6:26 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Whew. After you didn't include the recipe for the shortbread cookies or the dark chocolate seduction torte, I was delighted to get this one.

At 5/24/2007 7:48 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Do enjoy it! I'm thinking one of these days I want to try it with a hazelnut or a chocolate-covered nut of some sort replacing the berry inside. (Oh, and no mint.) But... hasn't happened yet.


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