Monday, April 17, 2006
Mondays with Maida - New Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Page 125 in the old book / page 163 in the new book
Rather uncharacteristically, Maida provides no background on this cookie or its origin at the start of the recipe, but I believe these New Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies are so named because of the pine nuts in them. None of the other ingredients, or the cookies themselves for that matter, brings to mind New Mexico or the southwest. I might have felt otherwise if I had actually used pine nuts, but at the last minute I realized I was out and had to fall back on one of Maida's suggested substitutions - pecans.
I should mention that there is some nutmeg in these cookies, which gives them a slightly more exotic flavor than your run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies. The other thing that is a little different is that the chocolate is ground (or finely chopped) before being added to the dough. I liked the taste, but it was the texture of the cookie that I found most satisfying - crunchy outside and chewy inside.
The dough for these cookies is frozen in a loaf pan. The "loaf" is cut in two lengthwise and then the cookies are sliced and baked. I ended up with 60 cookies - slightly less than yield stated in the recipe (66) - due in part to the size of my loaf pan. I was aiming for slicing the cookies 1/4" thick, but worried that I was slicing them too thickly and wound up with some too-thin cookies (which had no chewy middle). Next time I would shoot for 3/8" slices.
Terri, who has graciously pinch-hit in for absent cookie panelists on many occasions, joins the cookie panel full-time starting this week...
Suzanne: "I expected the cookie to taste like a chocolate chip cookie except the cookie is square, but it had a slightly different taste. The cookie has a small amount of nutmeg which I could definitely taste. I’m not a big fan of nutmeg even though I know from all the cooking shows on TV that everyone loves nutmeg. I did like the texture of the cookie. The cookie was crunchy on the edges and softer in the middle. I also enjoyed the chocolate chips and nuts. Rating - 4.0"
Denny: "Crunchy and chocolatey are my two favorites in a cookie but something in them detracts a bit from the overall cookie. Ginger or some other spice? I'd give them a 3. Rating - 3.0"
Laura: "Crunchy chocolatey goodness. Rating - 4.0"
Terri: "Since I don't consider myself a 'chocolate lover' these cookies had just the right amount of chocolate. These are very similar to a chocolate chip cookie except the slivers of chocolate make them less chunky. The pecans add a flavorful touch - crunchy and chewy. Rating - 4.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.8
Next week - Black-and-White Coconut Slices