Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wrapping up Christmas
Martha Stewart’s Cookies Copyright 2008
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
Coarse sanding sugar, for rolling I had white and red sugars. Green would be great for Christmas too, of course.
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside. I used the microwave - I cooked it on high for one minute, then stirred it until smooth.
2. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture, then fold in flour. Pour batter into prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until top is shiny and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Break up brownie into small pieces; transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With machine on low speed, pour in rum, and mix until crumbs start to come together to form a ball.
4. Shape into 1-inch balls, and roll in sanding sugar to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Rum balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.
My old rum ball recipe called for nuts (nuts, vanilla wafers, powdered sugar, etc) so I stopped making it when we went nut-free. Some recipes I simply removed the nuts but I wasn't that keen on making that particular recipe without the nuts. I've been on the hunt for a nut-free rum ball recipe and when I saw this one in Martha's lovely Cookies cookbook, I knew I just had to make it.
This will definitely be added to my Christmas cookie line permanently. I might experiment with using bourbon in these too. They're fudgy little bites that just scream Christmas to me. I loved that I got to use up some of the decorative sugars that I had building up in my cupboard. I used a lot more sprinkles and sugars in my Christmas baking this year.
Even though these require a bit of baking, the recipe comes together very quickly (especially if you use the microwave for the chocolate and butter) and there's only a short baking time. The cake cools pretty quickly too so these weren't very labor intensive.
I've had a crazy week so far - lost keys, ignored alarm clocks, etc but I figured I'd better start posting again. I didn't really want to start the new year off posting Christmas recipes so I wanted to get them out of the way.
Question of the Day: Rum balls, bourbon balls or neither?