3 medium-sized peaches, sliced
1 large mango, sliced
1/2 cup sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated until dissolved, and cooled)
In a food processor, puree the peaches then pour into a bowl. Then puree the mango with the juice of 1/2 of a lime. Combine with the peach puree, then add the sugar syrup. Chill in the freezer in a Tupperware container, stirring twice, every 15 minutes until the texture is slushy, but not rock hard.
Chocolate crackle cookies
Judy has a friendly baking competition going with a co-worker. Almost every week they each bring in a batch of cookies for the rest of their office and see which ones get eaten the fastest. Judy, being somewhat (ahem) of a competitive type, described the contest as a "cookie slapdown" when she first told Dan about it. I think she meant "throwdown," but whatever. Cookie slapdown (or smackdown, as we sometimes call it) has a nice ring to it. She's made dozens and dozens of co-worker-approved cookies since the slapdown started, but these are her two latest favorites, both from Martha Stewart's new cookie cookbook. I prefer the chocolate crackles (top), which are misleadingly-named. They have a dense brownie-like texture and flavor, not at all crackly. The cappuccino sandwich cookies (bottom) are filled with a fudge-like chocolate ganache and are really delicious too.
The recipe can also be found on Martha Stewart's site.
(Makes about 4 dozen)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling
Divide the dough into quarters, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours. On a clean countertop, roll each portion of dough into a log approximately 16 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, using confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and transfer to a baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.
Cut each log into 1-inch pieces, and toss in confectioners’ sugar, a few at a time. Using your hands, roll the pieces into a ball shape. If any of the cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners’ sugar again to coat completely.
Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake until cookies have flattened and the sugar splits, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer from oven to a wire rack to let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The recipe can also be found here.
(Makes 30 bite-size cookies)
2/3 c flour
1 Tbsp finely ground espresso beans
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c heavy cream
2 1/2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Whisk flour, espresso, and salt in a bowl, set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix on med-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to med-low. Add flour mixture; mix utnil dough comes together. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. Let dough stand at room temp. 10 minutes. Roll between 2 sheets of parchment to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out rounds with 1 1/8 in cutter; space 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Reroll scraps, cut out. Freeze 10 minutes.
Bake until set but not browned, about 9 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, cool completely.
Bring cream to simmer in a saucepan. Pour over chocolate in a bowl; stir until smooth. Press plastic wrap onto surface; refrigerate at least 4 hours, up to overnight. Whisk to soft peaks before using.
Transfer filling to a pastry bag, fitted with a 1/4 inch plain round tip. Pipe about 1 tsp filling onto bottoms of half the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with cocoa and sugar.