So, I spend a fair bit of time cruising food porn websites. Foodgawker, mainly. If you haven’t made any time to check it out, do. But do yourself a favor and do it only when you have an absolute amount of time, otherwise you can kiss your job and social life goodbye.
There I was, combing through Foodgawker looking for dinner ideas (I ended up making roast beef paninis with gruyere, green apples and horseradish cream on focaccia – not a failure), when I came across these cookies. I immediately sent a link to Linda, with the subject line (and this is a standard subject line in my emails to Linda, one I use at least once a week) “if you make these I won’t cry, and I will clean the bathroom”.
Unfortunately, I ended up making these cookies myself. As I write, this very minute, they are in the oven, filling the house with the smell of baking chocolate. Eat it, neighbors with the grill with attached smokebox who taunt me with smells like smoked pork, enjoy the hot chocolate smell courtesy of me. Also eat it McDonald’s, which is located not 100 feet from my front door, and likes to fill the air with french fry smell literally ALL THE TIME.
So, here is the recipe:
Chocolate Rolo Cookies, thanks to The Nerd’s Wife
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, ROOM TEMPERATURE
2 tsp vanilla
a bag of Rolos, or at least 4 sticks of Rolos (note: sticks of Rolos seem stupid, when you can buy a bag, but consider this – sticks of Rolos come unwrapped all at once, and the ones in the bags are individually wrapped in foil. Choose wisely.)
1 tsp instant espresso (not in the original recipe, but coffee intensifies chocolate, and I like it, and I had some)
1/2 tsp salt (also not in the recipe, but I never heard of a cookie without salt in it)
a few tsp of white sugar for rolling
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugars. The recipe says, and so does everyone I know but me, to do this in your standing mixer. Sue and I, in fact, disagree wildly on this point. She wants a Kitchenaid mixer the way I want Eric from True Blood to show up at my door shirtless bearing pizza. I have one on the premises (it’s Linda’s) and I never use it. I just prefer to mix things with a spoon, it makes me feel accomplished. Either way- cream together the butter and sugars.
At this point, go ahead and sift together the dry ingredients- flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt and instant espresso. Yes, sift. Sifting is one of those things, like not overmixing, that makes me HATE baking, but Linda has a handy sifter, so I use it, and I think it does a much better job of incorporating the dry ingredients than putting them in unsifted.
When they’re sufficiently creamed, add the eggs and vanilla, beating those in as well. Then add the dry ingredients, about a third at a time, until a dryish dough forms. The dough is, by the way, fairly sandy and dry, like this:
When it looks like that, unwrap your Rolos. I put these on a heavily greased cookie sheet, though parchment paper or a silicone baking mat would be easier, I didn’t have either one. Grab a small handful of dough, flatten it into a circle, press a Rolo into the center, and ball the dough around the Rolo. The whole thing should end up being the size of a golf ball. Roll the thing in the sugar, and put it on the cookie sheet. Repeat until you are out of Rolos.
The recipe says bake for about 8 minutes, I’d say it’s more like 10. Check them at 8 minutes, the edges near the pan should be nearing crispy. Take them out, let them sit a few minutes on the sheet, then move them to a cooling rack.
1. The baking rack I am currently using is actually the rack from my roasting pan, and is not, in fact, an actual cooling rack.
2. I am accepting gifts, please contact me for my address.
3. These cookies are very well behaved. They hardly spread when I baked them (yet another of my baking pet peeves – seeing your pretty, evenly spaced dough balls melting into each other and the sides of the pan) and maintained their shape really well.
4. They are DELICIOUS. They got beautiful and crisp on the outside, and the dense richness of the chocolate is enhanced by the very slight bitter edge from the espresso. The caramel in the center provides a lovely note of cream and saltiness.
5. I halved this recipe when I made it, which produced 2 dozen cookies. I would very seriously consider halving it when you make them too, unless you’re taking them somewhere.