These are my first ‘commission’ – the first time someone’s said “It would be nice if…” and I’ve gone away, thought about it and made it! When I made the roasted chocolate cookies the other month and took them into the office, one of the items of feedback was that they would be lovely with different flavours – maybe mint – and what about those nice crunchy sugar crystals you get in Matchmaker chocolate sticks…
That got me thinking. And googling. Because you really can find anything on the Internet! I bought a couple of packs of these sprinkles, one orange, one mint. The rest was just technique. I’m reliably informed these were very nice, and met the brief admirably 🙂
Roasted cocoa cookies (recipe here)
- 25g cocoa
- 60g unsalted butter
- 100g dark chocolate (70%)
- 225g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- 125g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 pack each orange and chocolate sprinkles
- 1 bottle each peppermint and orange extracts
- Line a baking tray with nonstick paper and heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4. Spread the cocoa on the tray in a layer roughly ½ cm thick then bake. In the first 5 minutes the cocoa will oxidise and darken slightly, but you actually want to go much darker than that. I bake mine for about 25 minutes in a fan oven until it turns a very dark brown without burning. But if it starts to colour very quickly then you can take it out after 5 minutes if you like. Different cocoa brands will bake faster or slower, so check every five minutes till you get the roast colour that suits you. Then remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the butter and chocolate and pour into a mixing bowl (I just use the microwave).
- Stir in the sugar then the vanilla, egg, cocoa, flour and soda. Leave for at least an hour to cool and firm slightly (or store in the refrigerator for up to a week) before using
- Split the dough into two and place in separate bowls. Add a teaspoon of mint extract to one, orange to the other. Sprinkling through the appropriate sprinkles and stir well. The sprinkles will want to fall out – keep stirring.
- Take spoonfuls of the dough, about 30g, roll them into balls and place on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Keep the two flavours separate or they’ll all taste of an odd citrus-mint combination which isn’t pleasant.
- Press the balls slightly flat then bake at 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes until they’ve spread and taken on a rich blackish brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave to set slightly before moving them to a wire rack to cool.