Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chocolate on My Mind

Triple-Layer Chocolate Cookies
I’m proud to be a chocoholic.  I’ve tried weaning myself off this addiction.  Once I managed to avoid chocolate for two weeks, but that was a long time ago.  Without the invention of chocolate chips, I might have succeeded. 

A 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips is incredibly versatile.  Eating a handful now and then is one way to empty the bag.  Making Chocolate Chip Cookies is another way. 

Now I’ve come up with a third way: a Triple-Layer Chocolate Cookie.  I was inspired by: a popular packaged British snack called a Jaffa Cake.  It’s basically a very thin layer of bland-tasting cake, a layer of orange jelly and, on top, a layer of dark chocolate. 

My version uses a home-made shortbread as the base, topped with a layer of apricot jam, which is then decorated with chocolate chips.  The heat of the oven doesn’t melt the chips, but it does cause them to stick to the hot jam.
Triple-Layer Chocolate Cookies – makes about 40 cookies  
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature + more for greasing 
1/2 cup sugar 
1¼ cups flour 
About 2 cups apricot jam 
About 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
Insert paper muffin liners into 12 muffin cups (or more if you have them) or lightly rub the bottom and sides of the muffin cups with butter.  Set aside 
Place an oven rack in the middle position and begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  
Put the butter and sugar in a food processor or a large bowl.  Process or beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the flour and pulse for about 10 seconds, or beat on low speed until well blended. 
Press 1 tablespoon dough into each muffin cup and flatten with the back of the spoon.  You will need to make several batches using the same pans.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the top of the cookie is firm and just beginning to brown.  
While the cookies are baking, melt the apricot jam in a small pot.  Once it has become semi- liquid, remove from the heat and set aside. 
When the cookies are done, take the pans from the oven and spread a thin layer of jam evenly over the top of each cookie.  Sprinkle 10-12 chocolate chips over the jam and bake for another 4 minutes. The chips will not melt but the heat will cause them to stick to the jam. 
Remove the pans from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.   Leave the cookies in the paper liners if you like, but remove the liners before serving.  Store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil or plastic wrap.
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