A Delicious Slam Dunk: Chocolate Shots

I was so happy with the results from two prize-winning recipes from the Chicago Tribune's holiday cookie contest (H-Bars and Swedish Spice Cookies) that I decided to try another: Kimberly H. McGuire's "Chocolate Shots," which won in 1996. The headnote mentions that Julia Child rated the cookie an 8 out of 9 points, which seemed like a solid endorsement.

The name of the recipe doesn't shed much light on what to expect; this is a slice-and-bake oatmeal cookie ringed in chocolate sprinkles. The ingredient list is short. To make the dough you beat softened butter with powdered sugar and vanilla, add flour and baking soda, and stir in old-fashioned rolled oats. You chill the dough briefly so that it's easier to handle, and then form it into a log and coat the log evenly in chocolate sprinkles. Then you chill the dough overnight.
The following day, you slice the log into 1/4-inch slices and bake. Most of the chocolate sprinkles ended up on the bottom side of the cookies around the edge, and they melted at the slightest touch -- these cookies left a lot of chocolate smears on the serving plate and on the fingers of anyone who handled one. But holy cow, they were so good and worth the required pile of napkins. The cookies were crisp, light and buttery, with a rich flavor from the oats. I think the chocolate sprinkles make this cookie; I used dark chocolate vermicelli from Surfas in Los Angeles that is made of pure chocolate. The rich chocolate flavor in the cookies was surprisingly intense given that the sprinkles are only on the edges of the cookie.

I thought that they cookies tasted like a cross between a Danish butter cookie in the blue tin (because of the rich, buttery flavor) and a Pepperidge Farm cookie (because of the crisp texture and the chocolate accent). I rarely purchase supermarket cookies, but I put Danish butter cookies and Pepperidge Farm at the very top of the store-bought cookie hierarchy -- so this comparison is a big compliment. These cookies are definitely a winner in my book, in all their buttery, messy, chocolate-y glory.

Recipe: "Chocolate Shots" by Kimberly H. McGuire, from Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes from the Chicago Tribune for Cookies, Bars, Brownies and More, recipe available here at the Chicago Tribune.