Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate Covered Gingerbread


Housesitting is an interesting business.  There are varying levels of comfort depending on whose house you are temporarily living in.  I often get to stay in the houses of friends and look after their dogs when they go away for a weekend or longer, but this time I'm in the house of people I don't know all too well.  With their cat.  I don't know much about cats but we're getting along pretty well so far.



There is something kind of anthropological about being in someones house, figuring out how much they possibly use their kitchen by what utensils and pans they have.  You also get to learn from and appreciate their decorating choices, like this cool card catalog coffee table:


And I just want to point out that yes I am (barely) under 30 and I totally know what a card catalog is.  I hear comments from people all the time about my generation not knowing what that is.  Boom.  Debunked.

I also have learned that something pretty cool exists: Schokolierte Genieferchen.  (Say that five times fast!  Or just one time slow...)  It's chocolate covered gingerbread cookies!  

I love gingerbread.  Like, a lot.  The cookies I discovered look pretty special so I abstained from helping myself, but I thought there was no reason why I shouldn't try to cover my favorite food in chocolate on my own!  


I chose my favorite recipe for gingerbread cookies, Pepparkakor

I whipped up some dough, but this time I replaced the butter with applesauce.  Substituting an equal amount, using applesauce instead of butter in this recipe yields a GIANT soft, chewy cookie.  The change to the flavor of the cookie is hardly noticeable.  There is no reason to sub if you don't want to!

I've expressed before my dislike of candy wafers for dipping and candy making.  I'm sure they have a superior texture and melting point, but they're full of crazy ingredients that should make you do a double take.

To coat these cookies with delicious chocolate I used semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler.  To help give chocolate chips a smoother, silkier coating ability, mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per 1 cup of chocolate.  You could melt the chocolate in small intervals in the microwave but my favorite method is still in a double boiler on the stove.  You don't need fancy equipment, just a heatproof bowl and a sauce pan with simmering water.  Rest your bowl atop your sauce pan and stir the chocolate as it melts and becomes beautifully smooth.


Prep a workstation, countertop or tabletop, with wax or parchment paper so that any melted chocolate will release easily.  Take your bowl of melty chocolate to your workstation and get dipping!  I waited until my cookies were completely cooled and dunked the top of the cookie in chocolate and then shook it lightly before flipping it over and resting it on the counter to cool.  One cup of chocolate was enough to coat a dozen very large cookies.

It's best to store these in an airtight container in the fridge.

It's almost Valentine's Day!  I've never been a fan, except maybe for the one when my friend Kelsey and I went on a romantic date and found ourselves comically surrounded by canoodling couples in a chinese restaurant.  However, I think there is no better way to say "I love you" or "I like you" or "You're all right" than by covering your sweetie's favorite food in chocolate.  

You can use this technique to dip ANYTHING, and you should!  Pretzels, pickles, pasta, strawberries, bread, spinach, cheetos, chips, you name it.  Paul may be getting chocolate dipped Martin's chips on Saturday.  Shhhh!  Don't tell him...

What's the craziest thing you've eaten that was dipped in chocolate?