Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Earthquakes

An earthquake of sugar....yum.
Speaking the name of these cookies gives you a pretty good idea of how they taste. A chocolately delight is how!  Easter Sunday has always been more about what I eat, than the fact that Jesus did some chilling out post death. I went to church growing up, every Sunday, but it was Unitarian church so often we were outside celebrating trees and the earth as much as Jesus. Honestly all I could think about was getting my cheap, ugly wicker basket in hand and scouring the feild looking for the precious candy. I have to avoid jelly beans in the supermarket because they are tiny beans of crack. To me, anyway. This year I did not eat ANY easter candy, beside a few jelly beans on Sunday. Quite an accomplisment for someone who used to eat her weight in reeces eggs and starburst jelly beans.

My mother made her famous ham. Its fame is known far and wide by our close friends. I dream about this ham, and luckily she has been making it for Easter for the last few years. I sadly will not post the recipe because no matter how hard I wish, ham is simply not vegetarian. Sometimes the truth hurts. Also I don't need to know this recipe, because it is too yummy, and I would not use my power for good. I would use it to consume a whole ham.
Ham and Angels, thats Easter!

The recipe I used comes from Vegetarian Pleasures, a book by Jeanne Lemlin. I own "Quick Vegetarian Pleasures", and for Easter my mom got me "Simple Vegetarian Pleasures" which I haven't stopped reading since I received it. As yall know, I have the best Mom of all time! Jeanne Lemlin has incredible recipes and her books were written in the 90s so are cheap to get on Amazon or used books stores. I highly recommend buying her books, regardless of your vegetarian status, she is a great writer and I have yet to make a recipe I didn't love. In the next few weeks I will be making many of her dishes, so stay tuned!

As far as the cookies, the directions instructed me to melt the chocolate on the stove, but I find that can be tricky and because I do not have special dual pots for melting chocolate, I used the microwave. Feel free to melt it on the stove, just watch it very carefully. Burned chocolate cannot be saved.

These are fairly simple and quick to make, though you do have to refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or so before you can bake them. The dough can refrigerate for up to 24 hours, so they are good to make ahead of time and pop in the oven right before you serve them. You can also freeze the dough, just defrost them before you coat them in the powdered sugar.

Chocolate Earthquakes
Watch out! Its an earthquake of CHOCOLATE. The BEST kind! 
The Goods: Makes 4-5 dozen cookies
8 tablespoons(1 stick) of unsalted butter
4(1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners sugar

The Deal: 
1. Microwave butter in a medium bowl until melted. Add chocolate two squares at the time, stirring about every 20 seconds. Once melted, set aside and let cool.

butter and chocolate, together at last! 
2. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk until smooth. Chill the mixture until cold firm, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Making your dough
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets and be sure the one oven rack is in the center and one is on the upper level.

4. Place the confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough and roll it between the palms of your hands and form it into a bowl. Roll it in the powdered sugar and coat well. Place on the baking sheets, about a dozen per sheet.
Be sure they are well coated in sugar
5. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, switching the placement of the baking sheets halfway through the cooking time so to not burn the bottoms. Cool slightly. Using a spatula move the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool completely before storing.

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