Montblanc Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 3/4 cup (102 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dredging

Methods

  1. Fit a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and put the butter in the bowl. Coarsely chop 6 ounces (170 grams) of the chocolate and scatter it over the butter. Finely chop the remaining 2 ounces (57 grams) chocolate and set it aside. Leave the bowl over the simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted, taking care that they don’t get so hot that they separate. Remove the bowl from the pan.
  2. Using a whisk or a heatproof spatula, stir in the sugar. The mixture will turn grainy, but that’s okay. One by one, add the eggs, whisking energetically after each one goes in and then for a minute or two more. The dough will become smoother, shinier and thicker. Whisk in the vanilla and the salt and then, less vigorously, the flour. Stir in the finely chopped chocolate. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350° F (180° C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Put some confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl.(if your sugar is very lumpy, you can sift it, but even lumpy sugar seems to be fine for these cookies.)
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a tablespoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each into a ball and drop it into the bowl of sugar. Gently toss the dough around in the sugar until it’s generously coated, then place the ball on one of the baking sheets and repeat, giving the balls about 2 inches of spread-space.
  6. Slide the sheet into the oven and bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 6 minutes. The cookies will have spread and cracked, their sides should feel set and their centers should still be a little soft. Put the baking sheet on a rack and wait 2 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the rack using a board spatula and let cool until they are just warm or have reached room temperature.
  7. Repeat with the second baking sheet and the remaining dough.

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