Dark Days Challenge Week 3: SOLE Cookies
I don’t usually bake. I’d rather spend my time in the kitchen thinking of things to do with all my veggies. But this year, my friend invited me to participate in her annual day-long bake-a-thon… and I said yes. The only request was that I contribute two chocolate cookies, which left the door wide open for what I could do. Since I’m participating in the Dark Days Challenge, I thought SOLE cookies would be just the thing this holiday season.
The winners in my SOLE cookie challenge were chocolate truffles and chocolate chip meringues, chosen for 1) their tastiness and 2) the few ingredients necessary to make them. I knew I could get local cream and eggs, and the rest sustainable, organic and ethical. I also knew the place to look for my ingredients was Mom’s Organic Market(one of my favorite places to shop!). MOM’s is a DC-area based market, big enough to have a lot of choices, but still small enough to feel like a local grocer. So maybe sourcing my ingredients wasn’t really a challenge this week. (Making a gazillion of each was the challenge.)
I found eggs from Pennsylvania and Virginia cream (oh the cream. So good!). I ended up with organic cane sugar (it’s not white! what a surprise); fair-trade, organic semi-sweet chocolate bars; organic cocoa; and organic vanilla. It may be possible to find some of those ingredients sourced locally—at least package and distributed by local companies—but I didn’t have time for the hunt.
Ingredients in hand, I set out to make a test batch of each before the big cookie day. My friends take cookie day seriously and I didn’t want to fall behind or let them down! The test batches met with a 100% approval rating (from Rick, who ate 10 meringues in one sitting). So from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 yesterday, the cookie ladies baked and chatted, drank coffee then wine, tested cookies and tested some more cookies. I’m not sure whether my legs or belly hurt more by the time I fell into bed.
I don’t know where the truffle recipe came from. A friend gave it to me about 15 years ago. I still have the scribble sheet of paper I wrote it on. The chocolate chip meringues came from “Madonna,” who posted it on All Recipes. Both are so easy to make. The truffles are a little messy to make, but rich and creamy. The meringues are light and airy, and a little delicate (they didn’t pack in the boxes very well).
Recipe: Chocolate Truffles
Summary: creamy and rich chocolate decadence
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbs cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg (optional)
- Chop the semi-sweet chocolate into chunks.
- Place all ingredients in a double boiler.
- Heat, stirring constantly, until all chocolate has melted.
- Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap, pressing the cling wrap onto the chocolate.
- Chill for at least 2 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator.
- Take about 1 tsp of the chocolate and roll it into a ball. (I find I need to smoosh it into shape then roll it in my hands).
- Pour some cocoa powder onto a plate, and roll the truffle until coated.
- Store in a cool place.
For a variation, roll the truffles in coconut, finely chopped nuts, or anything else that sounds good to you!
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Copyright © Susan Rose.
Chocolate Chip Meringues
I got this recipe from All Recipes, and since I didn’t alter it at all, I’m posting the link to the recipe rather than inserting it. Through trial and error, though, I did learn a few things…
For the test batch (pictured), I used my hand mixer. It took FOREVER to get the meringue stiff enough. On cookie day, I used my stand mixer and it took about 4 minutes. Moral of the story—if you have a stand mixer, use it!
The recipe says this makes 18 cookies. I’m wondering how big those cookies were. Each batch made 22 to 24 for me, and I was making them about 2 inches in diameter.
When I read the reviews, there was a lot of discussion about how much sugar to use. I followed the recipe exactly, and I thought they were perfect. The fair trade chocolate I used only came in bars, so I chopped my own chips. They were probably larger than normal chocolate chips, but that didn’t seem to negatively impact anything! In my oven (and my friend’s oven), these took about 35 to 40 minutes to bake.