My boyfriend, Jonathan, has never met a piece of mushy cake that didn’t love him back just as unconditionally. So he surprised me last week when he requested no cake for his birthday -- just cookies. He specified that the cookies had to be portable, as he would be taking them to the office (he writes about cars for the New York Times), and something the manly men of the Automobiles desk would appreciate (which meant chocolate).
I’d been curious about this EDF Ghostly Bat and Cat Cookies Halloween recipe and had some plans to tailor it: I replaced one half of the granulated sugar with confectioners’ with the hope that the cookies would be sandier, and I added a tablespoon of finely ground coffee to the dry ingredients for some zip. When I rolled out the dough and used my new car-shaped cookie cutter from Whisk (plus J's for Jonathan), I knew I had a winning treat to add to my repertoire. Plus, they bake so fast!
The clincher was the ganache I made to sandwich the cookies together. I used rum (the first bottle I grabbed from the liquor shelf, though really any spirit would work in a simple ganache like this) and splashed it in to lend a palpably boozy boost.
I dusted confectioners’ sugar on top to unify slight differences in shapes and smooth out the little surface imperfections (to prevent bumps, I should have sifted the cocoa powder before baking with it).
What’s your favorite add-in to make a recipe your own?