Hi, I’m Dorie Greenspan, cookbook author, baker, and owner of a small-batch cookie shop in New York City called, Beurre & Sel (French for “butter and salt”). I’m also the creator of the recipes for the delicious chocolate treats featured in the February issue of Better Homes and Gardens.
Chocolate + Valentine’s Day have been sweethearts for so long that it was a tricky – but very delicious – challenge to come up with new treats for the celebration of love. I’m crazy about all my meant-to-share desserts, but I was so excited about the Smoky Chocolate Crackers that I made them part of Beurre & Sel’s cocktail cookie collection.
I’m like a little kid when it comes to cookies – I can’t be reasonable; I can’t have just one; and I can’t understand why you’re supposed to wait until dessert to eat them. It’s because I want cookies all the time that I wanted to create cocktail cookies, a legitimate reason to eat cookies before dinner. And when I came up with the idea for Smoky Chocolate Crackers, I hit the jackpot: these are great as a nibble with wine before a meal and just as great with cheese and wine après dinner.
I’ve always liked chocolate with a little heat, but knowing that I was creating these crackers for Valentine’s Day, I wanted something even more surprising. I wanted something mysterious and when I thought of smoke, I knew I’d found it. The haunting flavor is from smoked paprika, just enough of it to keep you coming back for more. I use mild paprika, but if you really want to heat things up, you can go for the hot variety. And if you want a little more mystery, go for smoked almonds.
The dough for these crackers is easiest to roll as soon as it’s mixed and easiest to cut when it’s frozen, which is a terrific bonus: you can roll the dough out, wrap it well and keep it in the freezer, at the ready, for up to 2 months. Because you cut and bake the crackers straight from the freezer, this means you can have these treats on the spur-of-the-moment. And, since you never know when love might come calling, it’s good to be prepared. Get the recipe here!