February 21, 2011

Iced Chocolate Cookies

30 Oct 2010, Robin ‘PEGASUS and Cake, continued’.

3 c sifted plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

pinch salt‡

½ c cocoa powder

½ c butter

1 c granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ c buttermilk or soured milk

Sift the dry and set aside, mush‡‡ the butter and sugar together, beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Add half the sifted dry, beat, then the buttermilk, beat, then the rest of the dry. Beat hard. Drop on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets: 350°F about 12 minutes. They’ll still be softish, but the bottoms will be firm. (They may also subside a little as they cool. Don’t worry.)

Before they cool completely, ladle some frosting on them. Quantities and texture are up to you. If you want them to be really decorative, make your icing thin enough to pour, put the cookies on a rack that will be easy to wash later, and pour over. Finish the job with grated chocolate (after they’ve finished cooling). I tend to prefer the less artistic but more graphic approach, which is to say lots of frosting. I usually use about 3T butter, 3c icing sugar, 4 T milk and 1 ½ tsp vanilla.

‡ I have mixed feelings about salt. It does heighten the chocolateyness of chocolate, but . . . salt is everywhere. Like sugar. And here we’re concentrating on the sugar. The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon salt. Good grief.

‡‡ The more you mush, which is to say cream, the smoother the eventual result. I find that beautifully thorough, cooking-school creaming is a bit wasted on cookies. It’s even more wasted on cookies that are about to be curdled by soured milk anyway. Cream enough to produce something relatively homogenous, and don’t sweat it.

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