Today I’m embarking on a weekend of baking. I’m making three different cookies that get formed into balls and rolled in sugar of some kind. First up are these dark chocolate crackles, they’ve always been one of my favorites. They’re the kind with the crunchy outside and the soft brownie-like interior.
For a successful early holiday baking experience you need to assemble your arsenal…preferably early in the morning after a good sleep. Clear the counters and set out the basics: flours, sugars, baking powder and soda, extra measuring cups and spoons, etc. I bring out large canisters every fall to streamline all the seasonal baking. Line them up, tops off. Also set out a pile of dish towels.
I opened up my Martha Stewart cookie app and picked the crackles. I’ve added pecans and bourbon for a little something extra.
Bourbon Pecan Crackles ~~~adapted from Martha Stewart
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup toasted pecans, finely ground in a small processor
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp bourbon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave. I use the defrost setting or 50% power. Start with 30 seconds and stir, checking every 15 seconds until it’s just melted. Set aside.
Grind the pecans in a small processor. Then put them in a bowl along with the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter and sugars till fluffy and then add the eggs, vanilla and bourbon. Mix in the slightly cooled chocolate, and blend. Mix in the nut and flour mixture just until combined. The dough will be soft. Cover and chill for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Shape the dough into 1″ balls and first roll in the granulated sugar, then in the confectioner’s. Bake on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets for 15 to 20 minutes, check them at 15, if the characteristic crackles have appeared, and they’re slightly firm to the touch, they’re done.
Cool on racks. You can sift more powdered sugar on top of the cookies after they’ve cooled for a whiter look.
Be careful not to overbake these…think of them as tiny brownies…you don’t want them to be dry.
One down, two to go. I’ll be sending them home with my daughter and her friends for their drive back to college, after a few quality control checks…