Victoria

Chocolate & Caramel

Chocolate Bittersweets

Makes 36 cookies

¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract, and continue to beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour and cocoa, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds, wrapping each portion in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. Shape chilled dough into 1-inch balls, and place on prepared pans. Make indentation in center of each ball with thumb or wooden spoon handle.

4. Bake until set, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely.

5. Pipe Cream Cheese Filling into center of each cookie; drizzle with Chocolate Frosting before serving.

Cream Cheese Filling

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’sugar, and vanilla extract with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

Chocolate Frosting

½ cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, stir chocolate morsels and butter over low heat until melted. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract, stirring until well combined. Let cool slightly before using.

The most common problem posed by chocolate is seizing, which occurs when too little liquid is used in the recipe or when the chocolate comes into contact with water or even a whisper of steam. To avoid a dull, grainy mixture, be sure to use at least 1 tablespoon of liquid for every ounce of chocolate. Should seizing occur, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, melted butter, or warm cream—whichever will work best with the recipe—and stir or whisk until smooth and shiny. Oddly enough, adding a tablespoon or two of

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