Since I’m playing hooky on this week’s TwD: Baking with Julia assignment, I thought it would be okay to post a different Dorie-centric recipe instead. In the February issue of Better Homes & Gardens, Dorie Greenspan shared several Valentine’s Day recipes from her NYC bakery, Beurre & Sel, including these smoky chocolate crackers. Chocolate crackers? And they’re somehow smoky? Well, the smoky flavor comes from the smoked paprika in the recipe, which added an unexpected but tasty layer of flavor to these chocolate snacks. These crackers are definitely out of the ordinary, but worth a try if you like to walk on the wilder side! Dorie suggests pairing them with port and a slice of cheese.
Smoky Chocolate Crackers by Dorie Greenspan
(makes approximately 50 crackers)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 c. finely chopped almonds, toasted (I left these out)
1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add both sugars and beat for 2 more minutes. Reduce to low speed and add egg whites.Beat 1 minute. (The egg whites will curdle the batter, but the dough will come together when the flour mixture is added.) Still on low speed, add flour mixture and mix only until it disappears into the dough. Using a spatula, stir in chopped almonds if using.
3. Turn dough on work surface. Divide in half; shape each half into a disk. Place a disk between two sheets of parchment or wax paper; roll to a 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with remaining disk. Freeze rolled-out dough at least 30 minutes.
4. Position oven rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
5. Working with half the dough at a time, use a 2-inch heart-shape cookie cutter to cut as many cookies as you can. Save the scraps of dough. Place the hearts about an inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, rotating baking sheet at the halfway point. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.
7. Repeat with remaining dough, always starting with a cool baking sheet. Combine scraps of dough, shape into a disk, roll, and freeze 15 minutes. Cut and bake as above.