Tuesday, December 14, 2010

San Andreas Cookies

Tis the cookie season! Can you guess what these cookies are suppose to be? San Andreas cookies!

To me, San Andreas cookies are a lot like the infamous chocolate crinkles with their dark interior and snowy crackled tops. As you can probably see from the photo above, mine deviated slightly from that. Chocolate crinkles or San Andreas cookies for me are like the macarons for other bakers. They almost never turn out successful. At least look-wise. It's extra disappointing when your anticipation builds up overnight while the dough is chilling.

Here's how my first and second attempt during 2009 Christmas turned out:

First attempt: clay-like; looks nothing like the beautiful cracked top chocolate crinkles; hard; almost inedible

Second attempt (recipe from Betty Crocker): probably my best attempt yet; better look; resemble more like chocolate crinkles bite-able; cake-like texture

San Andreas Cookies
recipe from Bookcook
-yield 2 dozen cookies

2 ounces (½ stick) butter
12 ounces dark chocolate
3 eggs
7 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup for coating
¾ cup flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup almond meal
6 tablespoons milk
¼ cup powdered sugar

1. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and 7 tablespoons sugar at moderately high speed until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage and is pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter.

3. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl, then stir in the almond meal. Alternating with the milk, add these dry ingredients to the batter. Spoon the mixture into a container, cover tightly, and chill overnight.

4. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the ¼ cup granulated sugar and the powdered sugar in two separate shallow bowls. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie and form into a ball. Roll each ball of dough in granulated sugar, then in the powdered sugar.

5. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake 20–24 minutes, until the dough is no longer gooey in the center when tested with a toothpick. Cool on wire racks.

Check out Bookcook for how these are suppose to turn out.

I was extremely distraught when I saw my chocolate crinkles flattening out within the first 5 minutes into the oven. Eventually, they just turned into one big piece of brownie. Despite the look of them, they smelled wonderful! I broke off a piece on the edge of the big cookie, and it tasted great! Nutty. Chocolate-y. Sort of crunchy and chewy. Mmm, here comes the ingenious me! Hohoho.. I transformed them back into individual cookies with a cookie cutter! These cookies are extremely nubby and light. I ended up with a big bowl of crumbs that I am going to nibble on and a HUGE box of good-looking cookies to give away.

I was a little skeptical when the recipe calls for 2 tablespoon of baking powder. But the result is simply heavenly. Slight crunch on the outside and tender and chewy inside. And this was also the first time for me to use almond meal. I like the nuttiness and chewiness it gives to the cookies!

Taste: 4.5 stars out of 5. Texture: 4 stars out of 5
The texture would be even better if they are firmer. They are a little messy to eat


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