Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Viennese Chocolate Icebox Cookies

Viennese Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2006 ed.), pg. 123.

Dark and delicious, these cookies look and taste like those you might purchase in a fancy tin. They have a sandy, crisp texture and are fragile.

3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) sweet butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Crystal sugar or coarsely chopped blanched almonds

Melt the chocolate in a double boiled over medium heat.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and sugar. Mix well. 

Beat in the egg and the melted chocolate.

On low speed, gradually add the flour, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat only until the mixture is smooth.

Cut a piece of wax paper about 15 inches in length. Place the dough by large spoonfuls down the length of the paper, forming a heavy strip of dough about 12 inches long.

Bring up both sides of the paper and press it with your fingers to form a roll about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the paper around the dough and store it in the refrigerator until firm. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for a week or two or it can be frozen. It must be sliced at refrigerator temperature or it will crack when sliced frozen.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil.

Place the dough on a cutting board and slice 1/4 pieces with a sharp knife. Place the cookies on the cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the crystal sugar (or nuts) over the top.

Bake for 8 - 12 minutes until done. They should be firm on top. Reverse the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack with a metal spatula. Store airtight.

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