Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The 30 Year Old Cookie Roll

"Festive Chocolate Cookie Roll" doesn't sound like the most inspired name for a dessert does it? Still, in 1982 when I was a newlywed searching for the perfect Christmas dessert, Bon Appetit's "Too Busy To Cook" column provided the answer.

(Some background here: I was barely 19 and had been reading Bon Appetit for years. My favorite babysitter activity?  Wait until the kids went to bed and start copying recipes. I am sure I based my childcare preferences on the wife's cookbook collection.  Also, "Too busy to cook" definitely fit my life. At the time I was enrolled full time at the University of Houston and expecting baby #1 due the next June.)

Yule Log, or even the more correct "Buche de Noel", would have sounded prettier, but the cover photo convinced me that I could do this. Almost every year afterward this was our standard Christmas Eve or Christmas day dessert. This year - horrors - I couldn't find the recipe. I searched in every cookbook, recipe box, computer file - nothing. I tried Google. Nothing. How could one little worn, 30 year old piece of paper cause such despair? This wasn't just a dessert; this was history!  Back to Google. I tried every variation of the title. I went to all the best known recipe sites and searched by ingredients. No good. Finally, it occurred to me to put the recipe title in quotation marks while I searched. Bingo! Success on two counts: The recipe showed up in a little Michigan newspaper AND the magazine was available on Ebay. Would I spend $6.90 to retrieve a precious piece of family lore? You bet I would!

So here you go. The meringue mushrooms are a nice addition but you'll have to find your own recipe for that. I've been known to grab whatever plastic floral pick is handy and artistically place it near the platter.

Festive Chocolate Cookie Roll

8 Servings

Creamy Chocolate Frosting:
1 C semi-sweet Chocolate chips
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 cup Whipping cream, whipped

1/3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
14 Oreo cookies, crushed
5 eggs separated, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 T powdered sugar

1 cup Whipping cream, whipped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ tsp. almond extract

For frosting:
Melt chocolate chips in small saucepan over low heat. Combine brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add yolk and beat until fluffy. Stir in chocolate, fold in whipped cream. Chill 1 – 1 ½ hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 10 ½ x 15 ½ jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet). Line with foil. Sift flour and baking powder into a medium bowl, stir in cookie crumbs, set aside. Beat yolks with sugar at medium speed in large bowl of electric mixer until just blended. Stir in vanilla and set aside. Beat egg whites in another bowl until stiff. Stir 1/3 of crumbs into yolk mixture; gently fold in 1/3 of egg whites. Repeat twice. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean – Approximately 15 minutes. Sprinkle powder sugar over a towel. Remove cake from oven and invert cake onto towel. Remove pan and gently peel off foil. Carefully roll up cake; starting from short end using towel as aid. Cool 30 minutes on a rack.
Combine whipped cream, almonds and extract in a bowl.
Assemble Cake:
Unroll cake, remove towel. Spread filling, almost to edges of cake. Gently re-roll cake. Transfer to serving platter. Spread frosting over cake and ends. Make log-like markings using fork tips. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

1 comment:

southerninspiration said...

You should have asked friends!! I had the recipe and fully intended to make it, as I discovered it's Gluten free!! But time got away and I didn't make it. Maybe next year!