[From Cooking from Scratch.]
There wasn't even a good excuse. We'd been hiking? I was hot and hungry? But really, I just didn't even realize I was doing it, until I looked down and saw that I had eaten an entire bag of cookies. An entire bag of my mother-in-law's cookies, in fact. You know, the fancy Pepperidge Farm Milano ones with dark chocolate and pretzel crumbles that you hide in the closet to eat so you don't have to share them with your kids? Yeah, all of them.
Right as I was staring, horrified, at the empty paper sack, my mother-in-law walked in. Caught in the act, I started apologizing profusely, but she just laughed and said it was OK.
It wasn't really that big of a deal, but—as we enter the season of holidays and family—it illustrates an important lesson.
I can be kind of a jerk sometimes. Not too often. Not usually on purpose. But sometimes? I'm a jerk. And guess what? You are, too.
Got a family of over-sharers? Bad cooks? Republicans? Welp, you're not perfect either. Nobody is, and when you figure that out family together time somehow gets a lot more fun.
You know what else is fun? Cookies.
While the stolen cookies did inspire them, the following cookies are not nearly as rich as the ones I purloined from my forgiving mother-in-law. They're sweet enough to be a treat, but virtuous enough for breakfast. They're also delicious re-heated, which makes them perfect for bonding with your auntie in the 2 a.m. refrigerator light or commiserating with your cousin when all of the children are awake before dawn and you can't find the coffee.
Salted Chocolate Sacristans
- 1 box thawed puff pastry dough (2 sheets)
- 4 ounce bar dark chocolate
- 3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- flour, for dusting
Chop the chocolate bar into thin shavings. Set half the chocolate aside, and divide the half that remains into two piles.
Remove one of the puff pastry sheets from the box and place it on a floured cutting board. Roll it with a rolling pin 5-6 times—just enough to smooth out the creases from where the pastry was folded—then sprinkle one of the piles of chocolate (1 ounce of the total bar) over the top, along with one teaspoon of sea salt.
Refold the pastry into thirds, enveloping the chocolate and sea salt in the middle. Then fold the pastry one more time so that the top and bottom edges meet. Wrap the pastry in plastic, put it in the fridge and repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.
Let the pastry rest while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once the oven is ready, pull out one packet of dough and—without unfolding it—roll it out to the approximate size it was when you started. Then, brush the dough with melted butter and cut it into one-inch strips. Twist the strips, lay them on a baking sheet covered with parchment, and bake for about 15 minutes or until they're golden brown. Again, repeat with the second puff pastry.
Once your last batch of sacristans goes into the oven, melt the reserved chocolate in the microwave, heating for 30 second intervals and stirring in between, until it's smooth.
Lay all of the hot sacristans out on a fresh piece of parchment and use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the top. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the cookies with an additional teaspoon of sea salt.
These will keep at room temperature for about 3 days, and they're best if you microwave them for about 20 seconds before eating.