Omnivore cookie contest January 29

Omnivore books, at Church and Cesar Chavez, is having a cookie contest from 3 to 4 on Saturday, January 29, and you should come. The $5 cover gets you a taste of every cookie entered in the contest–including mine.

The Cookie of the Month Club will convene at my house around 1 that day to bake an improved version of Cooks Illustrated’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies from Jan/Feb 2009. Improved how? With the addition of cayenne, cinnamon, and dried cherries. I tested these earlier this week, and they were a big hit.

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar*
  • 4 ounces dried cherries

*Cooks Illustrated specifies dark brown sugar. I happened to have light brown. It worked just as well.

Yields 16-20 large cookies.

Put racks in middle positions in the oven. Heat to 375 F. Grease two large cookie sheets. Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a shallow dish.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in a bowl.

In another container, whisk together corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla.

Beat softened butter, brown sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add corn syrup mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and dried cherries, mixing until just incorporated.

Chill dough 30 minutes. Divide chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch diameter balls. Coat in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake two sheets at a time, reversing position (top to bottom) halfway through baking. Bake until cookies are puffed and cracked and the edges have set but the centers are still soft (they will seem underdone), 10-11 minutes. Cool on sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool to room temperature.

Besides Cooks Illustrated, credit is due to Michael, for his chocolate-cherry bread, and to John, for his early devotion to cayenne in things chocolate.

If these cookies win the day, the Cookie of the Month Club promises to plow the winnings (half of the door) back into sugar, butter, and more cookie research for you! And we’ll party afterward at my house regardless. So come on down to Omnivore on the 29th.

1 Response to “Omnivore cookie contest January 29”

  1. January 16, 2011 at 15:20

    Would love to come, were it not for some geographical problems; this recipe is a keeper and I will test it as soon as a craving for chocolate cookies let itself be heard!

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