Bonbons in a Blizzard

Bonbons in a Blizzard

I am in so much trouble.

For my birthday, Stephen took me to dinner at Franny’s*. They don’t take reservations, so while we waited for a table we sat at the bar, chatting. And since it was my birthday and all, we talked about my favorite thing: food. I can’t remember how it came up, but at some point Stephen asked me if I’d ever thought of turning my recipe for The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies in the Entire World, infamous for inspiring me to end a blog post with “Holy Fucking Shit, these are good,” into truffles—I’ll often stash frozen dough balls in the freezer, and nine times out of ten we eat those little bombs of goodness before they ever see the inside of an oven. So what if I turned the tables and made them into something that’s intended to be eaten unbaked?

Well, friends, I did just that. To allay any fears related to using raw eggs (which, clearly, we don’t really have, since we habitually eat the unbaked dough), I swapped in an egg substitute made from ground flaxseeds. For the chocolate coating, I used a new product from Trader Joe’s, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Callets. (They’re flat disks of chocolate, intended for easy melting, and I have to say I’m impressed. Old Joe has found himself some deliciously fruity chocolate.) And to play up the saltiness in the dough, I sprinkled some Maldon sea salt on top. That salt helps to keep the bonbons from becoming overwhelmingly sweet—and so does forming smaller dough balls than you would if you were baking them. About a teaspoon at a time makes for a lovely little two-bite treat.

So why am I in trouble? Because after making about 55 of these suckers, I packed some up to give to friends, and some for the landlady (Harry’s idea, god love him). And I still have about 25 left. They’re in the freezer. And we’re hunkered down in the apartment until it’s safe to dig out. My prediction: By blizzard’s end, I’ll be saying. “Bonbons? What bonbons?” Oy.

HFS Cookie Dough Bonbons
Makes 4-5 dozen, depending on size

Weight Watchers: Assuming you get 55, as I did, they’re 3 PointsPlus each

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I whirred mine in the mini-food processor)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon olive oil, vegetable oil, or shortening (I use Spectrum Organic, which is made from palm oil and not hydrogenated, so it’s not quite as unhealthy as some other brands)
Flaky salt, for finishing

  1. Put the ground flaxseeds in a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars on low speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Add the vanilla and the flax mixture and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  4. On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and mix until just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir it in.
  5. Line a baking sheet or some other sturdy, flat surface that’s portable and will fit in your freezer (I used a large cutting board) with wax paper or parchment. Using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop, form the dough into small balls and place on the prepared board, close together but not touching. When they’re all scooped out, place the board in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  6. Line a second board with wax paper or parchment. Melt about 1/3 of the chocolate with 1/3 of the fat, in either the microwave or a double-boiler. Working quickly, roll each ball in the chocolate and transfer to the board—I found it easiest to use two forks. After the 3rd or 4th one, stop and sprinkle a bit of salt on each bonbon (you need to do this before the chocolate sets). Repeat until you’ve coated all the dough balls.
  7. Freeze for at least another hour before transferring to airtight packaging. Try not to eat them all over the course of one snowstorm.

* Which, by the way, Franny’s, holy cow. We shared a simple, cheeseless pizza for an app, followed by baked soft polenta topped with spigarello—an heirloom broccoli rabe—and melted baita Friuli cheesefor Stephen, and a stupid good—as in, so good I was dumbstruck—spaghetti with meyer lemon sauce for me. Best meal I’ve had in god knows how long.