Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cookies in a vintage tin. 

One of my childhood memories of the Christmas season is of pushing open the door of the butler's pantry in my Aunt Elizabeth's home and standing on tiptoe to reach the tin of cookies on the row of shelves where she kept all manner of curiosities. The tin was old, its design faded and worn from the many hands touching it over the years. I would pry off the lid and reach past the wax paper for the soft cookies nestled there. Then I would stand, tin in one hand, cookie in another and munch contentedly while the grown-ups talked in the kitchen.

Many years have passed since those visits to Elizabeth's farmhouse kitchen, but I have continued the tradition of putting Christmas cookies in tins.  The tins come from everywhere, usually found in thrift shops or vintage stores for mere cents.  And they are perfect for carrying a favorite treat to a holiday party or for sharing goodies with the neighbors next door.

Christmas is about celebrating Jesus' birth, but it's also about carrying on traditions we value in our culture. And sharing cookies in tins is one of mine. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and pass the cookies!

Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops 

Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops

Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 20 cookies


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
8 ounces (226 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
2 cold large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup (102 grams) all-purpose flour
Confectioner's sugar, for dredging


Fit a heat-proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making certain the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl, and put the butter in the bowl. Coarsely chop 6 ounces of chocolate and scatter it over the butter. Finely chop the remaining 2 ounces chocolate and set it aside. Leave the bowl over the simmer water, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients are just melted, taking care that they don't get so hot that they separate. Remove the bowl from the pan.

Using a whisk or spatula, stir in the sugar. One by one, add the eggs, whisking energetically after each one goes in and then for a minute or two more. Then whisk in the vanilla and the salt, and then the flour. Stir in the finely chopped chocolate. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.

To bake

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Put some confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough. Roll each into a ball and drop it into the bowl of sugar. Gently toss the dough around in the sugar until it's generously coated, then place the ball on one of the baking sheets. Repeat, giving the balls about 2 inches of spread space.

Slide the sheet into the oven and bake the cookies (one sheet at a time) for about 12 minutes, rotating the pan after 6 minutes. Remove from oven and put the baking sheet on a rack for about two minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool until they have reached room temperature.

Store in a tin or airtight container. Cookies are best eaten the same day but will keep for three days.


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