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Thursday, December 24, 2009

German Chocolate Cookies

You can't have all your holiday baking be so intense! Chilling, rolling, brushing, cutting, slicing, processing, toasting, chilling again and so on. Somewhere in there you need a high-quality low-effort treat to help you get through. Like a nice yummy drop cookie. Mmm.

A few weeks ago the Washington Post Food section did a holiday cookie spread. I admit, I was a little disappointed and only found 1 or 2 of interest among the 25 (Blue Cheese Walnut Cookies? Gross. Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies? Boring.) But these sounded so good, and the recipe looked straightforward and no-fail. I think I ate about five off the cooling racks; just couldn't stop myself!German Chocolate Cookies
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature (if you don't want to wait, place it in warm water for a few minutes)
1 T vanilla extract (yes, T, not tsp)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes or shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
4 oz Baker's German chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

2. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed to start, then on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Add the egg and then the vanilla extract, beating well between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; then, on low speed, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; beat until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the coconut, pecans and chocolate, mixing until well combined.

4. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (more like 12 to 14 for me) until undersides of cookies begin to firm up - the tops may still look shiny and soft. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Makes 3 to 4 dozen (3 1/2 dozen for me, using 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop.)

Recipe from Cookies by Sally Sampson

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