White Chocolate Lemongrass Cookie 白巧克力香茅餅乾
By Ellen L. Published: 2016-08-27
Recently we've been dipping our toes into the wonderful flavors of Vietnamese cuisine (see our posts on Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Noodles and Vietnamese Deep Fried Spring Rolls...yum!) and so quite naturally have been using a lot of lemongrass. You have seen it before of course, that green yellow stalk that looks for all the world like the dried twig of a tree. This humble looking woody stick has flavor magic inside it though, giving the cuisines of Vietnam and Thailand some really awesome and unique flavors. Well we had a wee bit o' lemongrass left over and one day, while poking around an old chocolate cookbook, what did I discover but a recipe that uses lemongrass and white chocolate together in one cookie! Strange combination but it caught my imagination. So we tried it. And what do you know, these White Chocolate Lemongrass Cookies 白巧克力香茅餅乾 were really quite good, the sweet mellow creaminess of white chocolate and aromatic butter complemented by the exotic citrus ginger notes of lemongrass. A definite must bake for any fan of lemongrass!
You can find lemongrass in a lot of places nowadays. I've seen it at the regular grocery stores and the wet markets in Hong Kong. Any decent asian grocery should carry it and definitely any Thai or Vietnamese grocery store. When purchasing check the stalks, they should be a light green color at the tops fading to a creamy white at the bulb are nice and firm and not dried out. To prepare lemongrass for use pluck off the first couple of layers, then use something to lightly bruise the lemongrass stalk all the way down the length. (I used my rolling pin.) The bruising releases the flavor, you can smell it as you crush. Then you cut it to sections and, if you have one, use a food processor and just use your trusty knife to chop the lemongrass as fine as you can. You don't want big bits of lemongrass in your cookies as the texture of lemongrass is quite woody.
The other reason I was excited to try this recipe is because I recently discovered that my 老公 is a lover of white chocolate. I have no idea why he never pointed out this important fact to me, but there you go...men. So I happened upon a sale of white chocolate buttons and have been experimenting with it. I haven't worked with white chocolate before, it's a bit different from the dark and milk chocolate, but it's still chocolate and I can't stop eating it!
Melting white chocolate is the pretty much the same as melting dark chocolate. Check out my post on how to temper chocolate if you're interested in learning more, but for this recipe you'll just need to melt that creamy white stuff in a bain marie.
This is actually a really easy to make cookie. The hardest thing probably is the fine chopping required for the lemongrass. I did it by hand and it took forever but I think a food processor would have it done in a flash. Mix and pat into log, roll in some cling film and off to firm up in the fridge!
Do remember to leave some time for the cookie dough to firm up in the fridge. Not too long either, if it's too long it will be too stiff to slice. When the dough is nicely firmed up it's a dream to slice and will keep the rounded shape well. We made big cookies, if you want smaller cookies just make the roll of cookie log longer.
To be honest, I didn't know what to expect when I made these White Chocolate Lemongrass Cookies. I've never tried a combination like this before. But they came out quite stunning in flavor, fragrant with buttery aroma and hints of pungent citrusy lemongrass peeking out of nooks and crannies and white creamy chocolate everywhere! My white chocolate loving 老公 and all kinds of chocolate loving little girl both declared the cookies quite delicious and gobbled them up quick as a flash!
Let me know what you think of this exotic and exciting flavor combo...
White Chocolate Lemongrass Cookie Recipe 白巧克力香茅餅乾
(makes around 20-22 cookies, adapted from Chocolate: Sweet and Savoury Recipes)
5 oz white chocolate, 150g
1 stalk lemongrass
1 1/4 cups self raising flour, 156g
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp butter, diced, 75g
1/3 cup raisins, 50g
1 egg, beaten
Line baking tray with parchment paper. Melt white chocolate over a bain marie or double boiler. Prepare lemongrass by bruising with end of your rolling pin, slicing, and then chopping in food processor until very finely chopped.
In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and butter with your fingers until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add in melted chocolate, raisins and beaten egg and mix with a wooden spoon until everything bids together. Shape the dough into a log about 10-12 inches long and roll up in a bit of cling wrap. Put in refrigerator for 30 mins to 1 hour or until the dough is firmed up enough to slice.
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Slice log into around 20 equal slices approx 1/4" in thickness and place on to your baking sheet, leaving an inch spacing in between. Bake cookies for approx 15 mins or until a light golden color and just a touch of brown at the edges. Remove, let cool for a minute or two before removing cookies to a rack to cool.
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