Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Portfolio Cookies

Here at Portfolio, we believe in living well, and living beautifully. We also believe in hospitality and hope our clients feel as comfortable in our kitchen showroom as they do in their own kitchens.

Playing a part in the Portfolio story is Kristi, our current intern, who will be joining the team as a designer in September. Along with experience in design and journalism, she also brings with her a culinary background from teaching cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. This Spring, Kristi began offering our clients her signature ‘Portfolio’ cookies along with their cappuccino upon visiting the showroom. The cookies are essentially crinkle cookies: rich, fudgy cookies that ‘crack’ through their powdered sugar coating as they bake.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Portfolio Cookies

3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/8 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar

Make and chill the dough:

1. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water or in the top of a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and set aside.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

3. Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, beating well to incorporate. Beat in melted chocolate until combined. Add milk, vanilla, and espresso powder, beating to incorporate. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

Form and bake cookies:
1. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift confectioners sugar into a bowl. Use a small ice cream scoop, or a teaspoon to roll dough into 1-inch balls, placing them onto the wax paper as rolled. Roll balls, 3 or 4 at a time, in confectioners sugar to coat generously and arrange 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.

3. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are puffed and cracked and edges feel dry (but centers are still slightly soft), 12 to 14 minutes total. Transfer cookies (still on parchment) to racks to cool completely.

4. While first batch is baking, roll remaining dough into balls. Line cooled cookie sheets with fresh parchment, then roll second batch of balls in confectioners sugar and bake in same manner.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

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