Many years ago this recipe was printed in a New York Times cooking column; I tore it out and stuck it in a cooking notebook in which I save anything that interests me. In the 70's I was sorting through that notebook (something I don't do often enough), found the recipe and wondered why I had never made it. So I made it for my next dinner party. It was a smash hit! It is very rich torte, needs to be made a day ahead and it serves quite a few people. It is not only delicious, but makes a gorgeous presentation. One of my friends liked it so much she asked me to make it for several of her dinner parties. It's a perfect dessert for a special occasion.
I recently privately published a cookbook for my family with both old and new family recipes and lots of photos of family and recipes. Of course I included the torte and baked one so I would have a perfect photo to include in my book. At the same time, I did a more thorough search about the origin of this recipe; someone online mentioned it was originally published in Good Housekeeping magazine in the late 50's or early 60's. It may have been, but I found it in the New York Times. The few recipes for this torte online don't use cake pans to make the cookies. Using cake pans makes for fairly even cookie edges for the torte and I think makes all the difference visually. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cinnamon Torte
2 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 and 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 cups whipping cream
1/2 square grated unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 square of German cooking chocolate (make some decorative curls for the top)
Prepare the pans: I use 4 cake pans as I can fit this many in my oven at the same time. You will be making 12 cookies so you will cool, reline and reuse the cake pans. Cut wax paper circles to fit the bottom only of the cake pans. Lightly grease the bottom of the pans, put in the wax paper and then lightly grease the top of the wax paper. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 375°.
Beat the butter and sugar well and add the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and cinnamon. When the dough is well mixed, use about 1/3 cup of dough in each cake pan, spreading it carefully all over the bottom. It will be very thin, but make certain the bottom is entirely covered. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Watch carefully as it burns easily. You want the "cookies" to be a little brown but remove them before the edges darken. You must take them out of the cake pans immediately while they are still soft; with the tip of a sharp paring knife lift up the edge of the wax paper under the cookie and slide the wax paper (along with the cookie) out of the pan. I spread newspapers on my counters as the cookies are greasy and they need to cool. You should have enough dough for 12 cookies.
While the cookies cool, whip the cream, reserving 1 cup. With the remaining whipped cream, layer the cookies, carefully removing the wax paper as you do each layer. I probably spread about 1/2 cup of whipped cream on each layer. End with a cookie.
To the remaining 1 cup of reserved whipped cream, add the unsweetened grated chocolate, the cocoa and the sugar. Place on top of the last cookie layer and top with chocolate curls.
Refrigerate at least overnight as the cookies are crisp and the cake will break if you try to slice it the same day. Overnight, the cookies soften. Serves 10-12 if not more.