Monday, 10 November 2008

Chocolate Crackle-tops

Makes 38

200g plain chocolate, chopped
90g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
215g plain flour
25g cocoa power
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
175g icing sugar, for coating

In a pan set over a low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth, stirring frequently.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the sugar, and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Add the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla essence.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and stir into the chocolate mixture in batches, until blended.
Cover the dough, cool and chill for at least 1 hour, until the dough is cold and is able to hold its shape.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Grease two or more large baking sheets.
Place the icing sugar in a deep bowl. Using a small ice-cream scoop or teaspoon, scoop out the cold dough and, between the palms of your hands, roll into 4cm balls.
Drop each ball into the icing sugar and roll until heavily coated. Remove with a slotted spoon and tap against the inside of the bowl to remove excess sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets about 4cm apart.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops feel slightly firm when touched. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack for 2-3 minutes, then with a metal spatula or palette knife, place the cookies on the wire rack to cool completely.

These were so nice and easy to make. They didn't really spread during baking, just held their shape, most of them had these lovely cracks to the top too. I was surprised that they remained quite soft, I thought they'd have a little more crunch to them.
Anyway, on the occasions I remember I shall be adding (bad) pics of the creations!

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