You know how much I love to visit Pastry Studio. One fantastic recipe after another. This particular one doesn't need to be for the holidays, but as it turns out, I've offered to bring a cookie tray to our Garden Club Christmas party. I think it's a super idea that we each bring food to this event and then pay a small sum for drinks. Another holiday party I usually attend is my Antique Club's annual celebration. This year, they are charging $60 per person! Yes, it's being catered and this includes food and drink, but don't you agree that's a little over the top? I'm skipping that one, much as I love the women in that group.
So I've been having fun making all sorts of new cookies the past month for the Garden Club do. These "sparklers" don't have a deep, dark chocolate flavor like a lot of Christmas cookies, but are elegant and subdued. They'll be a super addition to the cookie tray and the raw sugar on the outside adds that all important sparkle. I think you'll find them more in the Christmas cookie spirit by dipping them in red sugar. I make them that way often.
Adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan by Pastry Studio
Makes about 30 cookies
2 3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg yolk
raw sugar, for coating
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt together.
Beat the butter on medium speed to soften. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing, until the mixture is smooth and creamy, but not airy. Add vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go to ensure thorough mixing. Turn down the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing just until ingredients are just about blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing with a rubber spatula to avoid overmixing. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log about 1 1/2” thick and 7 1/2” long. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Whisk the egg yolk with one teaspoon of water. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a work surface. Spread out a good handful of raw sugar on it. Working with one cookie log at a time, unwrap and brush lightly with egg wash. Roll each log in the sugar, pressing gently.
Use a sharp thin knife to slice each log into cookies about 1/2” thick. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom at the midway mark, until the cookies are just firm to the touch. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat with second log.