In the April issue of the Left Hand Valley Courier, my "What's Cooking?" column included a recipe for a mocha chocolate chip cheesecake and decorating instructions from the book The Whimsical Bakehouse. The recipe in the book included the instruction for making the cookies that are used to make the crumb crust, but I had to leave that out of the newspaper article because of space.
While you could certainly use any commercial cookie for the crust, I think these are a much better choice. They're not as sweet as most commercial cookies, which is good because sugar is included in the making of the crust. These would be fine dipped in chocolate, or with a filling between two cookies, but they're a little plain on their own.
While my article in the Courier was all about this particular recipe, the decorating instruction in the book are clear and even better, they're useful. I'll probably never need to decorate a wedding cake, but there are plenty of ideas here for making fun and quirky cakes that I'm likely to want to make.
Adapted from "The Whimsical Bakehouse" by Kaye Hansen and Live Hansen
8 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
With an electric mixer. beat the butter and sugar to combine, then add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.
Sift together cocoa, flour and salt, and add these dry ingredients all at once to the butter, and mix on low until combined. Chill for10 minutes, then roll the dough into to logs on a floured surface. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Slice the logs into pieces about 1/4 inch thick and arrange them on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
To use these cookies as a crumb crust:
3 cups cookie crumbs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Smash the cookies to crumbs or whizz them in the food processor to make the crumbs.
Add the sugar, stir to mix, then add the melted butter and mix well.
Press the mixture into your pan firmly...and continue with your recipe.