Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mocha Rounds

If my father sees me baking a batch of cookies, he'll usually ask how long he has to wait before I'll let him eat one. Then, he'll ask if he can take some in to work. Usually the answers are "when they're cool enough to touch" and "No, I'm sending them to someone/giving them to someone/eating them myself". He just has bad timing when he wants to take a batch with him.
This week, I knew he had a meeting coming up and asked if he wanted me to make some cookies to take with him. The answer was yes.
But what kind of cookies to make? My immediate thought was to make chocolate chip cookies. But my dad said that they would be too popular. What that means, I'm not exactly sure, but I went about choosing another cookie. I decided to make something easy but a little unusual, and that didn't involve chocolate chips.
After having success with other recipes I've made from Land O'Lakes recommendations, I stumbled across their mocha rounds. They looked impressive, were easy to make (slice and bake) and had three great flavors: chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. Only about half the finished batch made it out the door with my dad to take to his meeting.

I would make these again, but wouldn't necessarily bother with the chocolat dip out of laziness. I think that coloring the chocolate would make very impressive cookies for holidays.
I used Valhrona dark chocolate, though the original recipe called for semi-sweet, and increased the baking powder and salt to half a teaspoon each. I also didn't add any shortening to the chocolate dips I used; I simply used melted chocolate.
I wouldn't change a single thing about they way the cookies came out, so here is the exact recipe I ended up using.

Mocha Rounds
adapted from a Land O'Lakes recipe
1 tablespoon milk, very hot
2 teaspoons instant coffee/espresso powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 oz. dark chocolate (71%), melted
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dissolve coffee in hot milk.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and coffee mixture and beat well. Add melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.
Stir in, either by hand or at low speed, dry ingredients.
Divide dough into 3 logs, approximately 1 1/2-2 inches in diameter and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until firm.
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice rolls into 1/4 inch slices and bake 10-12 minutes (12 if you prefer slightly crisper cookies). Cool completely on wire rack before dipping in chocolate.
Makes approximately 5 dozen.
Chocolate coating
6 oz. dark chocolate
6 oz. white chocolate
Melt white chocolate. Dip 1/3 of each cookie and place on wax paper until set.
Melt dark chocolate - temper to create smooth finish. Dip 1/3 of each cookie and place on wax paper until set.
Store in an airtight container and serve with coffee.