"Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook"
A cross between candy and the best chocolate cookie dough you can imagine, these unbaked cookies are popular in Italy and France, where, because of their shape, they’re called salame or saucisson. But they’re sometimes called mosaic, because of the beautiful pattern the add-ins make. And they’re also made in Russia and Romania and Portugal and probably just about every other European country. I didn’t have to travel far to get the base for this recipe: it was given to me by my friend Matt Wick, a Connecticut chef. It’s a cocoa log studded with crushed cookies—usually vanilla wafers, but I couldn’t resist the allure of Biscoff cookies—chilled until it’s firm enough to slice and rolled in confectioners’ sugar to suggest the bloom that gives saucisson and some salami their distinctive look. Working, as I always do, under the assumption that good can always be better, I added pistachios and bits of dried apricot. Not only did they make the log even better looking, they made it crunchier, chewier and more interesting.
Because the cookies depend almost entirely on cocoa for their flavor, I urge you to choose a cocoa with a taste that’s as deep as its color (Valrhona and Guittard make great cocoa). As for the fruit and nuts, the choice is yours. That said, it’s nice to toast the nuts and plump the fruit. If you’d like to add another flavor to the mix, you can soak the fruit in tea, juice or something boozy.
This makes a big, fat log that weighs in at 1 1/2 pounds and keeps for a long time, ready to be sliced whenever you want something wonderful as a nibble-along with coffee, ice cream, pudding, or fruit desserts. Of course, it’s also perfect go-it-alone snack fare. If you want smaller cookies, you can make 2 logs from the recipe or cut the recipe in half.
A word on the eggs: Because the eggs are not cooked, use super-fresh organic and/or local eggs.
About 20 cookies
- 12 plump, moist dried Turkish apricots, cut into small pieces
- 6 ounces Biscoff cookies, Petit Beurre, or vanilla wafers
- 2 large organic eggs, at room temperature
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios (rub off any loose skins), lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
- About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, for rolling
Soak the apricots: put the apricots in a heatproof bowl and add enough very hot tap water to cover them. Set them aside to soak. When you’re ready for the apricots, drain and pat them dry between paper towels.
Prepare the cookies: the Biscoff cookies need to be broken into small pieces (not crumbs). You can do this with your fingers or do what I do: cut them into rough, uneven cubes using a serrated knife.
Make the dough: working in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, sugar, and salt together until you have a mixture with a beautiful sheen. Switch to a sturdy flexible spatula and stir in the cocoa; it’s easiest to do this in 3 or 4 additions. The dough will be thick—almost like a paste—but just keep mixing and making sure to get to the bottom of the bowl. One by one, stir in the apricots, cookie pieces and pistachios.
Make the saucisson: lay a large piece of parchment on the counter and butter it. Reach into the bowl and gather the dough together in a ball, then place it in the center of the parchment and work it into a chubby log between 10 and 12 inches long. Because this isn’t baked, there’s no need to be precise, but I wouldn’t suggest that you make the log shorter than 10 inches. Short and squat, the salami becomes bologna and it’s hard to cut and have the cookies stay intact. Check that the log is solid (feel along it to see if there are hollow spots and, if so, re-roll), then wrap it tightly in the parchment. Freeze the log for at least 3 hours or refrigerate it for at least 6 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, put the confectioners’ sugar on a piece of parchment or wax paper, unwrap the log and roll it in the sugar until it’s coated. Using a long slicing knife, cut the log into cookies that are about ½ inch thick (you can cut them thicker, but not thinner). Serve immediately. These are soft and a little messy by nature and will hold their pick-upability for about 10 minutes at room temperature, so refrigerate the uncut portion of the log or refrigerate any cookies you aren’t serving.
Storing: Wrapped well, the log will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 2 months. It should be cut and served while cold, so don’t defrost.
Text excerpted from DORIE’S COOKIES © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.