Links here for this summery treat!
Make sure to give yourself some time to make these little towers of chocolate, creamy deliciousness since there are several components and steps involved. Or skip all of the work and just make the cookies. Posting date is July 1!
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, or dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), melted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar at low speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then beat in the cocoa powder and salt. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Form the cookie dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured board, roll out each disk of chilled cookie dough to a ½-inch round, ¼ inch thick. Using a 2½-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can; transfer the rounds to a large rimmed baking sheet. Gather the dough scraps, chill briefly, reroll, and cut more rounds. You should have 32 to 34 rounds. You only need 30 rounds for the towers, but a few extras are good to have on hand.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are just set. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer and keep warm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and salt until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture, then pour that mixture into the remaining half-andhalf in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until chilled.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- Transfer ¾ cup of the whipped cream to a small bowl. Beat in 3 tablespoons of the chocolate pastry cream to make a light-chocolate cream.
- Arrange 30 cookies on a work surface. Fill 3 pastry bags fitted with large plain tips with the chocolate pastry cream, the light-chocolate cream, and the whipped cream.
- Pipe the chocolate pastry cream onto 12 cookies. Pipe the light-chocolate cream onto 6 cookies. Pipe the whipped cream onto the remaining 12 cookies. Stack the towers: Start with a chocolate pastry cream–topped cookie, then a light-chocolate cream–topped cookie, followed by a whipped cream–topped cookie, another chocolate pastry cream-topped cookie, and finally a whipped cream–topped cookie. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Pipe a small dollop of any remaining chocolate pastry cream onto the top of each whipped cream–topped tower. Transfer the cookie towers to a serving platter and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.
Mostly thumbs-up for these oversized Italian cookies!
Let’s see those cookies!
Let’s bake up a pie, y’all! This Southern dessert is like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a pecan pie. In other words, the best of both worlds. Posting date is June 3.
- 1 ball of Classic Pie Dough (½ recipe; page 94), chilled
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1¼ cups (about 8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Unwrap the ball of chilled dough and put it directly on the work surface. Roll out into a 12-inch round. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and carefully work it into the pie dish, folding any overhang under and crimping the edge as you go. Wrap and freeze the crust until firm, about 2 hours, or up to 3 months.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and sugars together until combined. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed until foamy, about 3 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and add the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the butter. Beat on high speed until the mixture is combined. Scrape down the bowl, add the whiskey, and beat the mixture on high speed for 1 minute.
- Fold the walnuts and ¾ cup of the chocolate chips into the filling.
- Pour the filling into the frozen pie shell and spread it out evenly. Top the filling with the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, then cover the edges of the crust loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 25 minutes (this will prevent the crust from browning too quickly). Test the pie by sticking a knife in the center of the filling. If the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If the knife comes out with clumps of filling sticking to it, bake for another 5
- minutes and test again. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before slicing.
Not a lot of complaints about our dip into the savory world this week. Check out our biscuits!
How did you all like this savory turn of events?
Step away from your ovens, bakers, because we’re making boozy ice cream floats next. Stick with the recipe and use coffee-flavored liqueur, or mix it up. Posting date is May 6!
- 3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 huge scoops (about 2 cups) premium vanilla ice cream
- 2 shots coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlúa)
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. In a small pot, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Using the back of the spoon, spread the sauce evenly in the bottom and slightly up the sides of the glass.
- Divide the ice cream between the glasses and let stand for about 5 minutes to melt slightly. Pour one shot of Kahlúa over each serving and garnish with a dusting of nutmeg. Serve immediately, with big ol’ spoons.
Another winner from New Frontiers, Baked buttercream challenges notwithstanding! And Little Baker Bunny goes rogue again with more ice cream!
What do you think, bakers? Thumbs up for chocolate-mint cake this week?