Thursday, May 20, 2010

(Dark Chocolate) Rocky Road Puff Balls

I was really bored yesterday, and I wanted chocolate, so I decided quicken the hardening of my arteries by making cookies. I got out the Better Homes & Gardens Dessert Cook Book circa 1960 (for reals!) and flipped to the only chocolate cookie recipe I knew: Chocolate Crinkles.

OK, cream together wet ingredients minus milk... so that's 1/2 cup shortening... I'll just use the rest of that stick of butter. 2 eggs, got those. 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar... hmm, sugar. Where is the damn sugar? I end up using one lump of the brown sugar that hardened into sand stone some time back. I put the lump in with the eggs to dissolve and sprinkle a little milk to help the process along. I'm whipping this stuff with my new mixer - it's way quieter than my old one, and the stainless steel beaters aren't gonna rust, but it doesn't seem to be whipping this stuff into a uniform consistency. Anyway, I add the chocolate. It calls for 2 1-ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted. I don't have any unsweetened chocolate, and I want to use some of the Pound Plus dark chocolate bar I got from Trader Joes. A single strip of blocks ought to be about 2 ounces... that isn't going to be chocolaty enough. I end up throwing in another half strip... and then some left over chocolate chips, so I've basically doubled the chocolate. I whip that in with the eggs, butter and sugar and it's looking silky smooth. But now I'm thinking, I didn't used unsweetened chocolate... is there as much chocolate in sweetened chocolate as in unsweetened chocolate? Better add some coco powder to the dry ingredients.

I can't leave well enough alone. I substituted dry oatmeal, powdered in the food processer, for some of the flour, and also added 1/4 cup wheat bran. I try to mix in 1/4 cup coco powder, but the bowl I'm using is too small for proper whisking, and I'm making a mess.

I turn on the oven to 350 and alternately mix the dry ingredients and the milk into the whipped chocolate stuff. Since I added coco powder and decreased the amount of butter/shortening, I decide to dump a little corn oil into the mix. It's looking fairly solid by the time I add the chopped walnuts and mini marshmallows - they're over a year old and they've hardened up into a block so I have to pick them off one at a time. I grease the pans and start spooning out the dough, but when I double check the recipe, I see that I'm supposed to cool the dough for 3 hours and then form it into 1 inch balls. Sigh. I turn off the preheated oven and put the dough in the refrigerator. Three hours later, I find that the dough has hardened and become somewhat crumbly - all that extra melted chocolate will harden when it's cooled. Anyway, the dough warms in my hands. I form the balls and bake the cookies. When I take out the first sheet, I find that they haven't spread out at all, they're basically little mounds. I try flattening the dough balls that go on the last sheet, but then end up looking about the same.

Finally, time to taste my creation (and to make sure that they're done in the middles). I take a bite out of one of my little brown balls, and it crumbles in my hand and turns to chocolate powder in my mouth. So what I end up with is little, brown balls of chocolate, marshmallow and walnuts that disintegrate like a puff ball when you bite into them. I started out making Chocolate Crinkles and I ended up with (Dark Chocolate) Rocky Road Puff Balls.

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