double chocolate oriolos
Rose's Christmas Cookies, William Morrow & Co., Inc. 1991)
amazing cookies are named for Richard Oriolo, beloved art director and
designer for all of my books, because he simply could not eat enough of
them. Perhaps it's because they are intensely chocolatey and buttery yet
extraordinarily light and so easy to swallow. The chocolate buttercream
topping is silky smooth under its crown of crunchy toasted walnuts. It
stays spreadably soft for hours at room temperature but hardens overnight
or on refrigeration just enough to be able to stack the cookies for packaging.
The butter not only enhances the flavor, it also creates the satiny texture
and completely keeps the chocolate from streaking when it sets. This cookie
has it all--guaranteed to become part of your permanent collection."
Preheat the oven to: 325°F.
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes
yield: 34 2 1/4" cookies
chocolate walnut buttercream
- 1/2 cup + 2/3 cup walnuts, divided
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1/4 cup (lightly spooned into cup & leveled off) unsweetened cocoa,
preferably Dutch processed
- 1/3 cup (lightly spooned into cup & leveled off) powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (measured by dip & sweep) bleached all-purpose flour
preparation Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of
- 1 3-ounce bar bittersweet chocolate (preferably Lindt)
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°F at least 15 minutes before baking time. Place
the walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast them for 10 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until lightly browned.
Cut the butter into 1" cubes, wrap and refrigerate them.In a food processor,
with the metal blade, process the 1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) walnuts, cocoa
and the powdered and granulated sugars until the walnuts are finely ground.
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is absorbed by the butter.
Add the flour and pulse until there are a lot of little moist crumbly
pieces and no dry flour particles remain. Dump the mixture into a plastic
bag and press it together. Remove the dough from the bag and knead it
lightly until it holds together.
electric mixer method or by hand
Soften the butter. Grate the 1/2 cup of walnuts very fine. Sift the
cocoa. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grated walnuts, cocoa and
sugars. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar mixture until
light and fluffy. With your fingers or an electric mixer, mix in the
flour until incorporated. (If using the mixer, add the flour in 2 parts.)
for both methods
Measure scant tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough between your palms
to form 1-inch balls. Place them 2-inches apart on cookie sheets. Use
a flat-bottomed glass tumbler, dipped in granulated sugar, to flatten
the dough to about 1 1/2" in diameter.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are firm enough
to lift from the sheets but still soft when pressed lightly on top.
(Do not overcook or burned flavor will result.) For even baking, rotate
the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through
the baking period. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer
them to racks to cool.
While the cookies are baking, prepare the chocolate walnut buttercream
In the upper container of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering,
water on low heat, or a microwave on high power (stirring ever 10 seconds)
melt the chocolate. Remove the upper container from the heat before
the chocolate is fully melted and stir until blended. Stir in the butter,
1 tablespoon at a time, until blended. If necessary return briefly to
the heat but do not allow it to become too hot or the butter will separate.
Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla. Let the buttercream stand at room
temperature about 1 hour or until thick enough to spread.
Chop the remaining 2/3 cup of toasted walnuts medium-coarse. Use a
small metal spatula to spread buttercream on the cookies. Sprinkle nuts
on top. Allow the topping to set overnight at room temperature or refrigerate
for 30 minutes before storing the cookies in airtight containers.
keeps: three weeks room temperature, several months frozen.