Last month I posted a photo of a German chocolate cake I’d made for a friend’s birthday, and got lots of requests for the recipe. I meant to make it for you but got sidetracked by the thought of cookies instead. Soft cookies, similar to a cake brownie, topped with coconut-pecan filling inside a ring of chocolate ganache.
Disclaimer: These aren’t German cookies. There’s been a little confusion about that. They’re meant to look like German Chocolate Cake, which is actually a recipe that was created in the United States by a baker named Samuel German. So . . . just humor me and roll with it, ‘kay?
My husband, who obviously is treated to lots of goodies (and isn’t much of a German chocolate fan) says these may be his favorite cookie of all. That’s saying a lot!
The filling and ganache both have to sit for a couple of hours before assembly, so plan accordingly. The filling can be refrigerated for days, so you can always make it ahead if that’s easier for you. Just cover it and hide it well in the refrigerator; it’s yummy to eat by the spoonful. I know this for a fact.
The recipe for the filling was slightly adapted from one of my very favorite cookbooks, “The Village Baker’s Wife”, by Gayle and Joe Ortiz. They don’t take shortcuts. I sometimes do. In the past, since I seem to have a mental block about owning a double boiler, I’ve made it on the stove in a heavy pan without any problems. That’s how I wrote the recipe below, assuming I can’t be the only person who doesn’t own one of those pans. But just for grins I improvised and tried my own version, which worked very well. So if you want to err on the side of caution and go the double boiler route, try a heat-safe bowl over a big pot of boiling water.
I also took my filling’s temperature just to make sure that the cooking time was long enough to bring the eggs to a safe temperature, and it was perfect. You’re good to go.
|German Chocolate Cookies|| |
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt 85% so it wouldn't be too sweet)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup (a half stick) butter, cut into several small pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 4 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 cup, firmly packed)
- COOKIES: Place unsweetened chocolate and milk in a small pan. Cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar thoroughly.
- Add eggs and beat until mixture is light and creamy, scraping the bowl often - 1 to 2 minutes.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder salt, and cocoa.
- Mix half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Scrape the bowl and add half of the milk/chocolate mixture. Beat until combined. Repeat. The dough will be soft and fluffy.
- Refrigerate for 60 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Using a large cookie scoop (mine holds a rounded tablespoon of dough), scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving 1½ inches between each ball of dough. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Move baking sheet to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to remain on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before sliding the parchment onto the rack. Cool completely.
- GANACHE: Place chopped chocolate into small bowl.
- Heat the whipping cream on medium-low in a small pan until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove. Pour half of the cream over the chocolate and wait 5 minutes before gently stirring. Return the remaining cream to the stove, heat until bubbly again and pour over the chocolate mixture. Stir gently until smooth. Cover loosely and set aside, stirring occasionally. Ganache will be ready to pipe onto cookies when it is thick enough to hold a shape.
- FILLING: Stir whipping cream, sugar, and egg yolks together in a heavy medium-size pan. Add the butter and turn the heat to low. Stirring often, cook until butter is melted. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture should be slightly thick. Pour into a medium bowl, stir in vanilla, and set in a larger bowl of cold water to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
- Once cool, add pecans and coconut. Cover and place in the refrigerator until needed.
- When ganache is thick enough to pipe, place in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe a decorative ring on each cookie.
- Fill rings with filling. Serve, or refrigerate in an airtight container.
Pipe a ring on each cookie, add filling, make a big pot of coffee, put your feet up, and enjoy!