Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our kitchen smells like chocolate, lemon, cinnamon and turkey.

So far, I have baked 32 dozen cookies and 10 loaves of quick breads in the last few days. I feel like I’m back in my restaurant again. Currently, I have a 12-quart stockpot on the stove simmering away with leftover turkey bones, herbs and mirepoix. I’ll reserve the turkey stock to make soup later.
The cookies are packaged and ready to be sold.

All the baked goods are for the annual Christmas Bazaar hosted by the International Women of Istanbul. The bazaar will take place from 12 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Hilton Convention Center. If you are in Istanbul, please stop by or tell your friends about it. Money raised from the event is donated to various local charities that assist women and children in need.

Besides baking for the American table, I’m helping to organize the salad bar at the bazaar. The table will feature more than 20 salads from local restaurants and the international women members.

One of my favorite cookies I made this time was a crispy, super chocolaty cookie made with chopped, salted almonds and a bit of Nescafe. It’s a recipe I adapted from David Lebovitz, a cookbook author who has a wonderful food blog about his life in Paris. 

I made a double batch which yielded more than 200 cookies. Of course, Jason and I consumed a few cookies, and I love to just eat the raw cookie dough.

The recipe is a snap to make. I like to roll the dough into approximately 2” wide logs, then wrap them in waxed paper and freeze them. It’s much easier to slice and bake the cookies this way. Plus, you can bake a few cookies at a time if you’d like.

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I did.

Afiyet Olsun!

Double Chocolate-Almond Cookies
(Adapted from “The Great Book of Chocolate” by David Lebovitz)

8          oz.       (250 g.)            unsalted butter at room temperature
1          c.         (200 g.)            granulated sugar
¾         c.         (180 g.)            light brown sugar, firmly packed
2          ea.                                large eggs
1          tsp.                              pure vanilla extract
2          tsp.                              Nescafe or instant espresso powder
2          c.         (280 g.)            All-purpose flour (Add ¼ to ½ cup extra flour if using Turkish flour)
2/3       c.         (65 g.)              unsweetened cocoa powder
1          tsp.                              baking soda
1          tsp.                              salt
¾         c.         (100 g.)            salted almonds or substitute your favorite nuts
¾         c.         (100 g.)            dark chocolate chopped or chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
2. Place the butter and sugars into a metal mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.
3. Next, add the eggs, vanilla and Nescafe. Mix well.
4. Then, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and blend until well combined.
5. Lastly, stir in the nuts and dark chocolate.
6. Now, you scoop the cookie dough into large balls and bake them right away. Or you can roll the dough into approximately 2” wide logs, then wrap them in waxed paper and freeze them. It’s up to you. Once the dough is frozen, you can thinly slice the dough and bake the cookies.
7. Bake the cookies on a parchment paper-lined half sheet tray. Bake until the cookies are just flat, about 8 minutes in a convection oven or about 15 minutes in a conventional oven.
8. Transfer the cookies to a cooling back.

Tagged: , , ,


Danielle said...

I love love the idea of almonds in a chocolate cookie! Definitely going on my list of Christmas sweets to bake this year. Your packaging is lovely too!