Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Baking-Chocolate all over the place!

Ganache filled Mocha Shortbread Cookies are one of the most decadent recipes I bake at Christmas. I make the dough and usually have plenty left to freeze for Valentine's day heart cookies.  This year I started the task as usual but decided to use a tiny star shaped cookie cutter instead of the round one from years past.  My trusty old Kitchen Aid mixer was ready for the task.  But was I?  Apparently not.  I sifted the dry ingredients together while the butter, sugar and vanilla were creaming away in KA's bowl. The liquid was added even though my husband drank the last drop of Kahlua so I had to sub Meyer's Rum.  No problem.  Next I started to add the dry ingredients to the bowl of creamed mixture in KA.  Why didn't I remember that I had a shield for the bowl??? I have every attachment Kitchen Aid made for this machine and I didn't think to get the shield out!
After the first cup was added there was little flurry of flour-cocoa powder but not bad.  I thought I could cover the mixer with a dish towel like I have done before. I added some more dry ingredients and while trying to get the towel in place the metal measuring cup I was using to scoop the dry ingredients with slipped out of my hand and into the bowl with the machine running. I tried to turn it off but instead turned it to the highest setting..... You can just imagine my kitchen as well as my person.  I looked like I just came down a chimney.  Breathing in cocoa and flour is not a good thing either. My main concern is that I may have broken my Kitchen Aid.  My husband helped me dislodge the bowl as it was quite stuck. We freed it, cleaned up the mess and continued on with the shield in place this time. KA worked perfectly. What I forgot is that I have the smaller version which doesn't hold more than 6 c. of flour. I was at the limit. When I thought the dough had come together I scooped some out and formed a disk to chill. I then find out that the bottom third was dry ingredients so I had to throw it all into a large bowl and work the first disk back into it until it came together.  What should have taken me 45 min. max took 2 hours.
Okay, the disks are resting in the refrig, I knocked out the Ganache filling now onto Rocky Road.
Not enough walnuts so I added pistachio nuts to make up the difference along with  milk chocolate and mini marshmallows. Turned out great and it is so easy! I got the recipe from Sunset Magazine a few years ago.

Rocky Road and Mocha Shorbreads..the rest were packed up and shipped out for Christmas gifts.

Mocha Shortbread Cookies filled with Ganache

1 1/2 c. cocoa powder
4 c. all purpose flour
       Sift together
1 lb. butter
1 T. vanilla
1 c. granulated sugar
       Cream together with an electric mixer
1T. instant espresso powder
1T. Kahlua
        Dissolve espresso powder in the Kahlua and add to creamed mixture.  Add dry ingredients a little at a time so they blend in. A bowl shield is recommended if using a stand mixture for easy pouring.
Scrape out the dough and cut into 3 portions, form into disks, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
Preheat oven to 375.  Roll out dough and cut with small cookie cutters.  I usually use 1"round but this year I used a 1" star.  Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets 7-8 min. depending on the size of the cookies.
Cool before filling.

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 T. corn syrup

Chop chocolate and put into a food processor.  Heat cream to boiling.  Add to chocolate and process until smooth, add corn syrup.  Chill mixture.  Either pipe onto cookies if serving open faced or spread the filling onto one cookie  if making sandwiched cookies.   Makes about 6 doz. sandwiches.

These along with my other goodies were packed up and shipped far far away for Christmas gifts.
That was all she wrote for my Christmas baking this year.  My wish list, as usual, was much longer, pretty sugar cookies that I could decorate, Nut brittles, Crackle Cookies from Martha Stewart's "Holiday Cookies" and jam filled thumbprints would have been nice.  Maybe next year.
Merry Christmas to you all!!!!

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