Okay...this has to be one of the most divine recipes in the universe! I made these for Christmas gifts two years ago and again this year. They are fabulous!!! Since the cookie dough uses a nut/flour base, there isn't as much chance for the WW flour to toughen them up. There is a lot of butter, but since we only get one ounce of chocolate, we shouldn't be having a lot of these anyway.
They freeze really well, and are small...so pop 'em in your freezer and have a couple one time a week.
My comments are in parenthesis and italics. Enjoy!
Chocolate Walnut Truffles (cookies)
Yield = About 4 Dozen Truffles
From The Complete Cookie by Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey
The chocolate truffle can be put on the cooled cookies using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a heavy-duty plastic bag with a bottom corner clipped.
1 ¾ cups all –purpose flour (I used ‘white whole-wheat’ aka ‘whole wheat pastry flour’)
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa works)
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar *
¼ cup granulated sugar*
(for the two * items above I substituted:⅓ cup chopped walnuts, plus about 4 dozen walnut halves for decoration (optional)
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup Splenda granulated
¼ cup sugar-free maple syrup)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces (for Christmas gifts, I used the real butter. For me, I use light Land O'Lakes butter which is made partly with canola oil)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt and just broke it by hand)
½ cup heavy cream (I know...for Christmas this is what I used, but for me, I'd use some mixture of milks and FF 1/2 and 1/2)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. cognac (we didn’t have any, so I used brandy for Christmas...for everyday, you could use an extract, like rum)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Combine the sugars and walnuts in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the nuts are finely ground, about 15 seconds. With the machine running, add the butter continuously through the feed tube. Add the vanilla and continue to process for a few seconds more, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture and process for about 15 seconds (took much longer) to form a dough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Roll each half out to a thickness of ⅛ inch, shaping it into an 8 x 8-inch square (I just tried to get it into a big shape so I could cut the cookies out…I didn’t measure). Cut out 2-inch circles (I used a small snowflake cookie cutter) and place them on the prepared cookies sheets. Repeat the process until all the dough has been used.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are beginning to crack lightly on top (mine never did crack…maybe they were too small or the wheat flour kept them from cracking?)
Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling, and set the baking sheets aside to cool as well.
For the truffle, put the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the butter, then the cognac. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until thick enough to spread, about 15 minutes.
Return the cookies to the cookie sheets. Mound about 1 tsp of the chilled truffle mixture in the center of each. Top, if desired, with a half walnut. Put the sheets in the refrigerator and let the cookies chill for about 15 minutes (I just left them on the racks and they were fine).
(I had extra truffle left over, so I made a couple of round balls with it and dipped in cinnamon.)