Sarabeth Levine - Goddess of Bakedom
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I love cookies and adore making them. Most of all I love to eat them. For me, the perfect cookie is always crispy, very buttery, not too sweet, has a hint of salt, and lots of vanilla flavor.  When Christmas rolls around gingerbread cookies take center stage at the bakery. 

 gingerbreadIMG_3422.JPG My cookies are very crisp and have a real snap when you bite into them, not to mention the right amount of ginger flavor. I always decorate these cookies with chocolate as I am not a lover of royal icing and food coloring. These ginger tree cookies are dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with small silver candy balls (dragees). The important thing to know is that you must temper the chocolate. You can use this technique for decorating your own favorite cookie recipes. 



(coats approximately 24 cookies)

BAKERS NOTE: Tempering chocolate is a specific way of melting the chocolate so it sets with a glossy finish. Untempered chocolate will streak and stick to your fingers when you touch it. • You will need a digital thermometer to help gauge the precise temperatures. It is difficult to temper less than 12 ounces of chocolate, and there may be leftover chocolate after dipping, depending on how many cookies you dip. • Simply spread the leftover melted chocolate on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper to set. • After it cools you can break it into small pieces and store in a plastic bag to reuse at another time.

12 ounces white or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped and divided
Small candy balls (dragees), optional

1. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to very low. Place 8 ounces of chocolate (white or semisweet) in a wide, heatproof bowl. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
2. Let sand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate reaches 110ºF on a digital instant-read thermometer.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat and place on a kitchen towel. Add the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and stir until melted. Let stand, stirring every minute or so, until the chocolate reaches 88ºF. 
4. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. One at a time, dip each cookie in the chocolate. Let the chocolate come about one-quarter up the side of the cookie. Give the cookie a gentle shake to remove excess chocolate, then carefully place the cookie on the pan. Push each cookie with your finger to move it about 1/8 inch from its position on the pan to dislodge and remove the "foot" of chocolate that has formed. Let the cookie stand until it begins to set. Sprinkle with your favorite dragees. (Optional)

dipped cookiesIMG_3398.JPG



Chocolate Marmalade Sandwich Cookies and Buttery Shortbread Cookies



Recipes can be found in Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours (Rizzoli, 2010)



Categories: At the Bakery, Christmas, Cookies, Dessert, Holiday Recipes


Your Comments

parisbreakfast  | December 20, 2010 8:31 AM

I had no idea but it was divine.
I bought one last week and had to buy another immediately.
They are the BEST gingerbread cookies on the planet IMHO.
I am an expert by the way...though I am on probation from extreme gingerbread cookie addiction(EGC).
It was purely chance that took me to the Chelsea Market and a natural to peek inside the Sarabeth Bakery.
The rest is history.
Truly a marvel indeed.

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parisbreakfast  | December 20, 2010 11:43 AM

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Hanaa  | December 20, 2010 4:55 PM

Ah tempered chocolate. Brings back memories from my Candy Making class at Sweet Celebrations (too bad they're not around anymore). I happen to love white choc. The real stuff that has cocoa butter in its ingredients list, not the "fake" stuff. Yuck!

Just to let you know, my Stollen plan has been moved to the week before New Year's. It's not forgotten!

Btw, I was browsing through your new book last night, looking for a Choc Meringue Buttercream Frosting recipe for a Buche de Noel I'm making this weekend, but only found a recipe for "regular" Meringue Frosting. How do I turn *that* into a Chocolate MBC frosting? How much melted choc to add and *when* to add it? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Penny  | December 22, 2010 1:32 PM

It seems this year I have been obsessed with making gingerbread cookies. I am also not a fan of royal icing so I am so excited to see the white chocolate with the dragees! I am going to bake another batch just so I can try decorating them with chocolate...soon I will be living in a gingerbread house:)

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Sendsations  | April 24, 2013 3:37 PM

Looks absolutly delisious, Can not wait to try the chocolate marmalade sandwich cookies.

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