Holidays and chocolate naturally go together and Marcel Desaulniers' I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas, shows you how with recipes like Hungarian Chocolate Walnut Roll, White Chocolate Kisses, and Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Cigars.
White Chocolate Kisses
Makes Twenty-Four 2-1/2-inch Kisses
This wisp of a cookie is like a tiny, sweet kiss. The philosophy is simple—quick to make and to bake means more time for enjoying (the cookie and the kiss).
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into
1-tablespoon pieces and softened
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped and
melted (see Melting Chocolate)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 24 Hershey's Kisses®
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.
2. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, until the butter is very soft and smooth. Scrape down again.
3. Add 1 egg and beat on medium for 30 seconds, then scrape down again. Add the second egg and beat on medium for 30 seconds, then on medium-high for 1 minute (the mixture looks like scrambled eggs, but it will magically come together when the chocolate is added). Scrape down again.
4. Add the white chocolate and the vanilla, and beat on medium for 30 seconds until incorporated. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Turn the mixer on to low and gradually add the flour; mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough until thoroughly combined.
5. Using 1 heaping tablespoon or 1 level #50 ice-cream scoop, portion 12 kisses on each baking sheet, about 1-1/2 inches apart widthwise and lengthwise. Place a Hershey's Kiss in the center of each portion, gently pressing it about one fourth of the way into the dough. Place the baking sheets on the top and center racks of the oven, and bake for 14 minutes until lightly golden brown along the edges, switching the sheets between top and center and rotating each sheet 180 degrees halfway through the baking.
6. Remove the Kisses from the oven and cool to room temperature on the baking sheets. Once the Kisses are cool, use a fine-gauge strainer or a sifter to dust them uniformly with a light flurry of confectioners' sugar.
The Chef's Touch
You may have noticed the relatively small amount of sugar in this dough: just one tablespoon. But coupled with the sugar in the white chocolate and the Hershey's Kiss, it is just the right amount to deliver a subtle sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Notice the baking time is just 14 minutes, so you should avoid distractions like playing mouth music with your sweetie, and keep a close eye on your cookies as they bake. The Kisses can be stored in a tightly sealed plastic container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. The Kisses may also be frozen in a tightly sealed plastic container for up to 5 weeks.
If you are shipping the Kisses, omit the dusting of confectioners' sugar, place them in resealable plastic bags, and seal tightly. The Kisses will be as delicious when they arrive as when they exited your oven.
Although using a double boiler for melting chocolate is simple and efficient, we now use the even simpler and more efficient microwave oven at Ganache Hill. We microwave coarsely chopped chocolate in a glass bowl; after removing the chocolate from the microwave oven, we use a rubber spatula to stir until smooth. At Ganache Hill, we use an 1100-watt microwave oven, and we always use the medium setting for melting chocolate. There seems to be no uniformity in microwave oven power settings, though. The melting times may vary depending on the model, watt output, and power settings available on your microwave oven.
If you choose the "old-fashioned" double boiler method, some precautions should be noted: First, set up the double boiler as described in the Equipment section above. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate slowly over medium-low or medium heat while stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Melting too quickly over high heat may render scorched, inedible chocolate.
Avoid introducing any moisture into the melting or already melted chocolate; otherwise it may seize (the chocolate stiffens into a coagulated mass unsuitable for use). Once melted, the chocolate should stay fluid for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. If your kitchen is cool, keep the melted chocolate over warm water until ready to use, unless the recipe requires the chocolate to be chilled before using.
Melting Chocolate: Microwave Oven|
|Amount of Chopped Chocolate||Approximate Melting Time|
|1 to 3 ounces||1-1/2 minutes|
|4 to 8 ounces||2 to 2-1/2 minutes|
|9 to 16 ounces||2-1/2 to 3 minutes|
|17 to 20 ounces||3-1/2 to 4 minutes|
|21 to 28 ounces||4-1/2 to 5 minutes|
|29 to 36 ounces||5-1/2 to 6 minutes|
Melting Chocolate: Double Boiler|
|Amount of Chopped Chocolate||Approximate Melting Time|
|1 to 2 ounces||2-1/2 to 3 minutes|
|3 to 4 ounces||3-1/2 to 4 minutes|
|5 to 6 ounces||4-1/2 to 5 minutes|
|7 to 8 ounces||5-1/2 to 6 minutes|
|9 to 16 ounces||6-1/2 to 8 minutes|
|17 to 20 ounces||8-1/2 to 9 minutes|
|21 to 28 ounces||9-1/2 to 12 minutes|
|29 to 36 ounces||12-1/2 to 14 minutes|
I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas
- by Marcel Desaulniers
- Wiley 2007
- Hardcover; 224 pages; $29.95
- ISBN: 0764599003
- ISBN-13: 978-0764599002
- Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 2007