I’m a little late to the Christmas cookie-making party, but for heaven’s sake — it was -8 degrees this morning. What else can one do but bake to warm up the blasted apartment? But before I get ahead of myself here, first, some good news for Yankee bakers: eagle-eye HIB contrib John spied this lovely bag of brown sugar (see photo) at our Asia Markt on Kopenhagner str. It’s the first we’ve found in the hauptstadt. Not to be confused with granulated, or “natural” brown sugar, this is the soft, moist and packable brown sugar used in lots of cookie recipes and sometimes barbecue sauces — and apparently is also key in Thai cooking (news to me, but explains the packaging.) Our bag of light brown sugar is the real deal, if not a bit rustic — we found a few small, dark chunks of sugar amid the fluffy stuff inside. Didn’t seem to bother the cookies a bit.
So to celebrate the new year (and the cold weather), here’s a quick recipe for chocolate “flake” cookies that use one hard-to-find item (brown sugar) and one re-purposed German item (“raspel Schokolade,” or chocolate flakes.) Thin layers of chocolate flakes melt together to create a cookie that appears practically stuffed with chocolate. It rules.
100g white sugar; *120g* packed light brown sugar; about 120g butter, softened; 1 egg; 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar (pref. bourbon); 1/2 tsp. baking soda (also found at some Asia Markts); 175g flour; a pinch of salt; whole package (100g) dark chocolate flakes (I used the Schwartau brand; it’s cheap); and nuts, if you want them.
And so: Oven at 150C, parchment paper on the baking tray. Beat the butter and the brown and white sugars together until smooth. (If you don’t have a hand blender, this can be done with a fork; make sure the butter is very soft.) Mix in the egg, baking soda and vanilla sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the chocolate flakes, flour and salt; then blend ‘em all together (add nuts here if you’re using them). Scoop the dough into pingpong ball-sized shapes, and place on the baking sheet with good room in between. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned on top. Eat warm.
(Note: If you prefer U.S.-based measurements, shoot us a note below and we’ll happily translate the recipe…)