Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tarantula Cookies

Tarantula Cookies (Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine)

2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 ounce bag thin pretzel sticks (you won't use them all)
24 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
chocolate sprinkles
small red candies (Red Hots)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. Mix in egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Gradually mix in dry ingredients until the dough is stiff and smooth.

Evenly divide the dough into 24 potions, rolling each into a ball or rounded rectangle - place 9 pieces of dough to a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and press 4 pretzel sticks firmly into each side of the dough balls. If you find the sticks seem too long, break off about 1/4" from one side before placing them into the dough.

Place into the oven and bake until the cookies are just firm to the touch and the tops show a small crack or two - about 10 to 13 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before gently transferring the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large microwave-safe container, melt chocolate chips and oil on medium power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Place one baked and cooled cookie onto a large fork and while holding it over the bowl of melted chocolate, use a spoon or small scoop to cover the top of the cookie and pretzel legs entirely with chocolate, gently tapping off the excess.

Transfer coated cookie to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to collect any drips - repeat process to coat 3 or 4 cookies. Sprinkle cookies with the chocolate sprinkles and press 2 red candies onto each for eyes. This way the chocolate has a chance to set slightly so the sprinkles and candies won't slide right off. Repeat process to coat every cookie.

Set cookies aside for several hours to set.

Makes 24.

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