June 28th, 2011

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake Cookies

Once I heard that I had a second chance to host a Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, I just could not resist reigniting the great raisin debate.  I’m in the camp that would rather leave them out of pretty much any baked good, but I picked this recipe because chocolate and sour cream and cookies all in one? yes!

In truth, I really let Ed pick the recipe.  I gave him a choice of the tropical crisp or these cookies and look what won.  I think he made a good and fitting choice.  Afterall, I do have cookie baking and this here blog to thank for getting me back in touch with him (via operation baking gals) and the bliss that surrounds me every day since. aww.

I baked these cookies in the middle of a busy week, knowing I had to bring dessert to a friends house one night.  I loved the batter (mixed up without any raisins, of course) but was a little perplexed when I saw the baked cookies.  huh? Then I read Dorie’s description.  Oh, sponge cake in nature.  I was expecting something like the yellow cake cookies I make (these ones here). 

I recovered and found that these cookies are great once they’ve had a chance to cool off.  They serve best, I think, as a sandwich cookie.  I used a little leftover peanut butter filling (from these cookies) with a few.  Gone before they could be photographed.  The rest made up mini ice cream sandwiches.  The cookies are nice and soft so the ice cream doesn’t squeeze out the sides when you take a bite.  Pictured with cheesecake brownie ice cream (my friends ben and jerry decided to make it for me).  Despite a skeptical start, these cookies, ice cream, and Spike are all good friends.

With the end of the book in sight, this may be one of my last chances to talk directly to all of the bakers.  This group has been so much fun, hasn’t it?  You are all inspiring bakers and people.  I’m so glad to have discovered such a wonderful group and my hands down favorite recipe writer, Dorie Greenspan.  I joined the group after the start so I still have many recipes to make up but I look forward to it (especially the snickery squares- every week I look at the photo and wonder how it is I haven’t made those yet). And now, here’s the recipe.



Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies

Dorie’s Note: I call these “cake cookies” because they are cakey soft and have a tiny spongy crumb. They are not deeply chocolaty, not very rich, and, to be honest, they look more handmade than handsome (they are thin and plain), but they are unfailingly happy-making.  I can’t think of a time when I, or anyone else, took one cookie and doesn’t go back for another.  Part of the appeal is the texture, to be sure, but who would walk away from the tangy-sweet combination of sour cream and chocolate? Or the fun of coming upon a few plump currants?

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/4 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid (Spike note: I used bittersweet chocolate and probably closer to 3 ounces)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plump, moist dried currants or raisins (dark or golden).  (Spike note: I left these out)

Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 375f.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is creamy and smooth.  Add the sugars and beat for two minutes or so, then add the eggs one by one.  Beat for another minute-the mixture should be smooth and satiny.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the vanilla and melted chocolate.  With the mixer still on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the sour cream alternatively, adding the dry ingredients in 3 batches and the sour cream in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix only until the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth, then mix in currants.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, making certain to leave 2 inches between the spoonfuls.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point.  The cookies will puff, spread and round themselves out in baking.  They’re done when they are set on top but still springy to the touch.  Pull the sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest for 1 minute, then, using a wide metal spatula, carefully transfer them to a rack.  Cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.

Serving: The cinnamon, chocolate, and sour cream in these call out for coffee, but they’re just as good served with ice cream. (Spike note- try making ice cream sandwiches!).

Storing: Because these are soft, they are best stored loosely stacked in a tin with wax paper between the layers.  They can be kept at room temperature for about 4 days or packed airtight and frozen for about 2 months.