Skip to main content

Mom's Chocolate Cookie Log

Catherine gave me a box of Girl Scout chocolate mint cookies, which started my mind going, usually a bad sign. The cookies reminded me of Mom's chocolate cookie log: black cookies from the store formed togthter into a log using whipped cream. WOuldn't some mint make this even better? Unfortunately, I couldn't use the Girl Scout cookies as-is---Mom reminded me that the log needs to sit in the refrigerator to allow the whipped cream to soak into and soften the cookies. I thought about scraping one side but eventually decided to make my own cookies.
Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies is a famous recipe. Because I am clueless, I didn't know abuot it until the past week. It seemed to be the perfect cookie for this effort. I sifted together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
I creamed together the brown sugar and butter.
Eventually, all the ingredients---including a few drops of peppermint oil---went into the bowl.
I divided the dough into two. The recipe starts with a warning that the texture can vary widely but I found this batch to have a perfectly fine texture.
I rolled each half into a log, wrapped each one in plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer for about two hours.
The freezer left the logs firm but not hard. I cut them into relatively thick pieces and spaced them far apart on baking sheets.
The cookies spread quite a bit during baking. Making the cookies was just the first step in the logging process.
I whipped up a batch of whipped cream, once again including a few drops of peppermint oil.
I decided to stack my cookies vertically; I really don't know how Mom managed to keep them standing as a horizontal log. I coated each side of each cookie with whipped cream.
Fearing a Leaning Tower of Pizza, I created two stacks.
I then coated each stack with a layer of whipped cream.
I then sprinkled some chopped chocolate around each log for both flavor and visual appeal.

Catherine and I agreed the result was pretty good. However, the original form of this dish, making use of pre-baked cookies, is an example of the classic Midcentury Modern form of cooking in which manufactured items are combined to make a simple dish with visual pizzaz. Making your own cookies removes this log from that easy category. There are other uses to which chocolate cookies and whipped cream can be made that require fewer civil engineering skills---think chocolate cookie trifle in a big mug.


Popular posts from this blog

Ann Arbor MI: West End Grill

Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.

Miami: Shorty's BBQ

The Widens introduced me to another Miami favorite, Shorty's BBQ. We had three different meats: brisket, ribs, and chicken. All were excellent. I would say the brisket was my favorite, which was was fork tender and moist. Shorty's is best known around town for its piquant sauce. In the photo, the top sauce is a standard red, sweet BBQ sauce.  The bottom container holds Shorty's special BBQ sauce.  It was great---the highlighted spice is, I believe, cumin.  The sauce is of a lighter color than the sweet sauce, so there are other things going on as well; I suspect it has less sugar. I love cumin because it tweaks the palate in a different way than many spices.  I loved this sauce so much I ate it by the spoonful.  Bill and I agreed that this sauce is reminscent of the sauce from Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City. 

Pressure Cooker Candied Ginger

I made candied ginger a few years ago. It's not something I would do every day but I had a lot of fun doing it. I recently acquired a pressure cooker and it inspired an interesting idea to me: why not make candied ginger in the pressure cooker? It should be very soft and flavorful. Here is the result. I peeled two large ginger roots, cut them into small cubes, and put them in the pressure cooker with heavily sugared water. The traditional method first boils the ginger in plain water to soften it and then again in sugar water to candy it. The resulting candy was very tender but still with the characteristic ginger texture. It was also sweet without being overpowering. The traditional method leaves a lot of sugar crystallized around the ginger. The pressure cooker gives a much more subtle result. The ginger stays moist even after it cools but you can dry it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. That inspired me to dip it in chocolate. While I was in the b