It's that time of year when circumstances may necessitate that even the most baking-averse person may need to produce a plate of cookies for the company Christmas party. Feeling your pain, I am here to help you out with these decadent, no-bake "Glop-Topped Cookies" that will convince your co-workers you really do keep all that booze in your liquor cabinet for baking, not for self-medicating.
I subtitled this post "Not for the Little Ones," and yet these cookies have a very distinct place in my taste memory from childhood. I can't remember what it was, but something recently reminded me of these cookies. I asked my mom to send me the recipe, and after some searching, she dug out her old copy of Caramel Knowledge by Star Tribune humorist and food writer, Al Sicherman. I "baked" up a batch, and that first bite brought me right back to 1985.
There is a healthy dose of liqueur in the ganache which gives them, well, a boozy flavor. Growing up with parents who were anything but high-strung, I had my fill of these cookies every Christmas. Realistically, there is very little alcohol in each small serving of the ganache, so if the kids want to try one don't worry about it. Or give them three if it's been one of those days.
by Al Sicherman
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. dry white vermouth
1 box vanilla wafers
Put the cream and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and add the chocolate and sugar and stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Cool and stir in the vermouth.
Cool the pan in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until it is the consistency of honey. Whip with a hand mixer until it is stiff and holds it's shape.
Top the vanilla wafers with big blobs of the chocolate, or you can pipe it on with a pastry bag.** Feel free to decorate with holiday sprinkles, powdered sugar, gold dust, angels wings, whatever you feel like. Makes about three dozen cookies depending on the size of the blob.
*The recipe calls for vermouth, but I used rum in mine and I think that just about any liqueur would be just fine.
**I did this for my first version and it looked like something you'd find on the sidewalk. So, use a fluted pastry tip, not a round one.