Monday, December 06, 2010

Molly MacRae Monday: Double Dark Chocolate Devastators

Molly returns this month with a Devastating recipe and news about her wonderful new book, Lawn Order - and also her new series! Enjoy!-AA

Is This Why We Have Prunes?

This December finds me in more than my usual holiday flutter. Packages aren’t ready to mail. Christmas cards haven’t been written (nor have they been bought). Only one batch of cookies made – already eaten. No toffee. Fruit cake? Hah. But there are such happy reasons for being behind. Reasons worth celebrating, if only I could find the time.

First, my new mystery novel, Lawn Order, comes out December 15th. It’s a story of southern sisters, poisoned pigeons and a strangled body in a sofa bed that Publisher’s Weekly called “MacRae’s witty first of a cozy new series.” It’s also the first novel length adventure for my characters Margaret and Bitsy who’ve otherwise appeared in short stories in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Hooray for Margaret and Bitsy spreading their wings! But, holy cow, that’s only a week and a half away and there’s so much work involved in promotion these days. Arrgh.

The second happy reason is overshadowing even Margaret and Bitsy. It’s got me spending every spare minute at my keyboard. I recently signed a three book contract with Penguin for a new mystery series involving a textile preservation expert who inherits her grandmother’s yarn shop and a depressed ghost. Woohoo! Very excited! But, oh my gosh, where do I fit real life in with all the rest of this going on? When will I decorate the tree? When will I buy the tree?

But isn’t all this stress exactly why we have prunes? No, no, it’s not, really. Prunes aren’t going to help. This is why we have CHOCOLATE. Here’s a recipe for chocolate cookies that are simply stunning. They’ll buck you up, give you strength, return your sanity from wherever it strays during the holidays. Make them and forget everything else. Except to ask your local library to order Lawn Order and then you can read it while you’re eating a few more cookies.

Double Dark Chocolate Devastators

Yield: 30 – 60 cookies, depending how big you make them

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

1. Put oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 350ยบ F. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. In separate bowl whisk eggs, vanilla and instant coffee together until coffee is dissolved.

2. Beat butter and sugars together in large bowl until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes.
Beat in egg mixture until mixed. Beat in melted chocolate, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.

3. Stir flour mixture until combined. Stir in chips. If mixture isn’t scoopable and fudge-like, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until it is (as much as 30 minutes).

4. Scoop dough into balls, 1-3 inches in diameter, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 1 ½ - 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are set and tops are cracked but centers are still soft and underdone (peek through cracks to check centers), 10-12 minutes.

5. Let cookies stand on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

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