Sunday 1 July 2007

Balsamic Fudge Drops

My freezer was bare of biscuits for work snacks so I went hunting for inspiration again. Then I found this recipe for Balsamic Fudge Drops from Habeas Brûlee I had seen months ago, and it intrigued me.

Actually I first came across it on Fat Free Vegan where Susan gave this recipe and a fat free version. So if you want to make it with less sugar and less fat, check out Susan’s ideas. I was too lazy to make prune puree when I could just scoop out some margarine in a tablespoon (this always seems a weird way to measure margarine)!

The mixture had no chocolate but the amount of cocoa was evil and made a dark potent batter that obliterated all thoughts of adding chocolate chips. Yet again I accidentally left something out of the recipe – the brown sugar – which must be why the cookies are a little bitter. I think I will add it next. The balsamic vinegar definitely added a certain richness. I added a little rosemary as an experiment after seeing Kalyn give a rosemary and red wine vinegar marinade recipe recently. I bought some rosemary last week and have seen so many good recipes for it I now want to put it in everything! I am not sure if I could taste it but will continue my rosemary experiments.

The first batch I did I just spooned onto the baking sheet only to find that they didn’t spread as I expected and looked a little rough. So when I did the second batch I made the balls smooth and pressed them slightly with the back of a fork (as my mum does with yo-yos). These biscuits are soft and rich, and will make pleasing diversions at work when hunger strikes.

Balsamic Fudge Drops
(adapted from Habeas Brûlée)

1 cup unbleached white flour (or use gluten-free baking flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (oops, I used baking powder)
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup yogurt (for vegan drops, use soy yoghurt)
1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cover baking sheet with baking paper or silicone baking mats.

Melt the margarine in a medium-sized saucepan. When it is completely melted, take it off the heat and add the sugars and cocoa and combine. Then add the soy yogurt, rosemary, vanilla extract, and balsamic and stir until mixed. Finally, add the flour, soda and salt and stir, until just combined—don't over-mix.

Roll spoonfuls of the dough into smooth balls with your hands and place on baking sheet – press the back of a fork on them to flatten them slightly (Danielle suggested tablespoonfuls, I did teaspoonfuls. She also sprinkled them with vanilla sugar but I like them plain.) Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Be careful they don’t burn – 11 minutes is enough. They will look soft on top, but they'll harden as they cool.

Remove from the oven and transfer to cool on a wire rack. Makes between 2 and 3 dozen cookies.

On the Stereo:
Soundtrack to I am Sam: various artists


  1. I love all the variations people have made of these cookies! Yours look great - rosemary and chocolate go so well together.

  2. thanks Danielle for the recipe - I agree it is exciting to see variations on a recipe blossoming all over the web - hope to be making this one again!

  3. Love the sound of these, Johanna. Big, soft cookies are very comforting, and vinegar is a surprisingly great match w/ sweets.

  4. thanks Susan - I agree with you on the vinegar - unfortunately my cookies were quite small as I am never sure how much they will rise/spread and these grew very little - but they are pleasing small bites to keep me going of a morning at work


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