Friday, March 03, 2006

Lace Cookies

With and without chocolate.

Everyone loves these cookies; make them and people will genuflect before you. They bake up very thin and crisp but after a day or so, they soften up and become chewy (which is how I prefer them). They have very little flour in them but lots of butter and sugar, which is why they spread so much.

You can serve them as is, use them to garnish other desserts (so lovely and elegant placed in a scoop of ice cream) or use them (as I do) to sandwich melted chocolate between them. Ohhh, delicious.

Lace Cookies
1-1/2 cups uncooked regular oatmeal
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 TBS. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix the oatmeal, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Arrange the batter by half-teaspoonfuls on the sheet, about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly and remove the cookies with a spatula as soon as they are firm. (If they become to hard, pop them back in the oven for a moment to soften –- but my kitchen if icy and I've never run into this problem, so you probably won’t have to worry about it.)
Yields about 60 cookies. Once the cookies cool, place them gently in an airtight container or continue to the next step.

Chocolate Filling
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer Ghirardelli)

Place chips into a microwave-safe ziplock bag. Microwave for approximately 1 minute on 40-percent power, and “smush” the chocolate with your hands. Continue microwaving the chocolate for 30 second intervals at 30-percent power until melted, smushing between turns.

Once your chocolate has melted, snip a small corner off the ziplock to create a homemade pastry bag. Place a small dollop of chocolate in the center of a lace cookie (flat side up) and delicately top with another cookie (flat side down against the chocolate). Press the cookies together gently so the chocolate spreads evenly. Rest to dry on a cooling rack.

If you have leftover chocolate after filling the cookies (you probably will) squeeze the chocolate into another ziplock bag. Line your cookies up on your cooling rack, placing paper beneath the rack to catch extra chocolate. Make a tiny snip in the ziplock bag’s corner so that when squeezed, you’ll get a thin ribbon of chocolate. Working quickly, squeeze the chocolate over the cookies on a diagonal from left to right. Your cookies should have little chocolate stripes. Repeat the technique, this time moving from right to left. Now your cookies should have a diamond pattern on them. Don’t worry about being perfect; they’ll look beautiful. (If you’re feeling ambitious, melt white chocolate and drizzle on the cookies for a nice contrast.) Once dry, store in an airtight container.

Grade: A+

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