03 March 2009

Oscar cookies

We scoured cookbooks for days trying to find a nice, elegant-looking cookie appropriate for an Oscar party. The fare in The Art of the Dessert was too intense for a night of watching TV; the morsels in our easy cookie book, too simple. So we took it upon ourselves to combine two elements from our old standby, The Weekend Baker. The cookies are an easy standalone recipe and the glaze is from the Chocolate-Dipped Macadamia Brittle therein (but that's another post). The result is a cookie that takes no time at all and tastes as nice as it looks.

Toasted Almond Cookies
12 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 yolk from a large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and toast the almonds -- spread them in 1 layer on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and just turning brown, around 8 min. Be careful, because they'll keep toasting even when you remove them. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and salt on medium until well blended. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. Pour in the flour and almonds and beat on low until the dough clumps together and looks like, well, dough.

3. Spoon these in little balls onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Press down with your fingers to flatten them a bit and bake one sheet at a time, about 17 minutes (until the edges are golden and the tops are dry). Place the sheet on a rack and let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze
3 oz semi-sweet baker's chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp butter
(if you want them really chocolatey, up each of these to four)

1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler (aka, a metal bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) or the microwave, if you're feeling less fancy. Microwave for about 15 seconds at a time and then stir so the chocolate doesn't burn. You'll only need to do this for about 30 seconds.

2. Dip half of a cookie into the chocolate and place on wax paper or parchment. Let these set -- they'll go faster and be less likely to melt if you put them in the fridge. Sift some powdered sugar on top for a finished look.

Drink-wise, we wanted to try some variation on the Champagne Cocktail. Champagne seems like the obvious choice for an Oscars party, but when you're tightening your budget and opting for $5 bottles of Andre you need to add something extra to spruce up the drink. We opted for the Chicago Cocktail --well, something like it. We skipped the Angostura bitters and didn't have any orange bitters on hand, which would have been perfect. Instead we measured 2 parts cognac to 1 part orange curacao, added champagne. and called it a night.

And by "called it a night" we mean "Who won Best Picture again?"

No comments:

Post a Comment


LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs