Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chocolate Surprise Cookies

This week involved a perfect extravaganza of baking on our part, and eating on the part of the acupuncturist, who finally asked us not to bake anymore because it was affecting his complexion. On Sunday, we made Chocolate Surprise Cookies. Now, I always feel that the word surprise in a recipe can be substituted with the phrase "watch out".
"Surprise! We're putting some weird unsuitable ingredient into your food. Hope it's edible!" Well, so it was with these cookies. The weird unsuitable ingredient was mushrooms. Now, the cookbook doesn't give any history for the recipes. We don't know what force moved some anonymous Pennsylvania cook to add mushrooms to chocolate cookie dough. I suspect, however, it was a recipe contest sponsored by the Kennett Square mushroom growers. Our creative anonymous cook decided that entries in the dessert section would be slim, so she would improve her chances of winning by figuring out how she could add mushrooms to cookies.
And she did okay. They were perfectly decent cookies. The mushrooms didn't add or detract from the taste. They were a conversation starter, as the acupuncturist, whose name is Jonathan, offered them to clients. Jonathan's clients, who are generally old, grew up in the sixties, so that sparked witty comments about the type of mushrooms in the cookies. The clients seemed to like them, and Jonathan certainly did.
The recipe called for glace cherries. Wikkipedia says glace cherries are candied cherries, boiled in sugar syrup. We put in maraschino cherries, easier and cheaper than tracking down real glace cherries. I have to confess, we also left out the amaretti crumbs, macaroons not being available.

Chocolate Surprise Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 ounces (two squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 fine macaroon (amaretti) crumbs
1/2 cup chopped glace cherries
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond extract. Stir in the melted chocolate.
4. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and stir into the batter alternately with the sour cream. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls, two inches apart onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake about fifteen minutes, or until lightly browned. Makes about four dozen. (Ours were bigger, so they made fewer.)

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