Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An old family recipe: Wagon Wheels

My mother is the one who instilled my love for baking deep in my veins. She baked probably millions of time during my childhood, and every time from scratch. She made pies, cakes, cookies, bars, breads, you name it. She came from a huge family of ten, with a mother who baked everything, too, so I imagine this whole baking thing goes way back in our family tree.

One thing my mother was obsessive about was Christmas cookies. We always baked upwards of five or six or seven different varieties of Christmas cookies to share with our family and friends as gifts for the holidays. My mother was like a drill sergeant when it came to decorating the spritz and cut-out cookies, ensuring that every cookie get decorated (whether we liked it or not). Oddly enough, my favorite cookie at the holidays was not a traditional cookie, it was a cookie called a Wagon Wheel. A chocolate cookie that would get rolled in powdered sugar, and would bake up looking a bit like a wagon wheel, with the pattern the powdered sugar would leave on it. They are still my favorite cookie, and now both my mother and I tend to keep a batch of dough in the freezer for whenever the urge strikes to have a wagon wheel. They're best right out of the oven, and tend to get stale quickly, so if you keep some dough in the freezer, you can bake up a couple whenever you're feeling peckish. They're a ridiculously easy cookie to make, the only difficulty is waiting the 24 hours to let the dough fully freeze before you dig in to the dough.

Wagon Wheels
Printer-friendly recipe

4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Melt butter and chocolate together. Let cool approximately 5 minutes.
2. Add sugar to chocolate mixture and mix well.
3. Then add vanilla and eggs and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients, then slowly add to chocolate batter and mix until fully blended.
5. Pour batter into a tupperware container and stick in the freezer.
6. Freeze at least overnight (or longer).
7. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment.
8. Roll approximately a tablespoon sized ball of dough and roll in a bowl of powdered sugar until fully covered. Bake cookies immediately (they tend to absorb the powdered sugar if they sit for too long) for 8-10 minutes. They will NOT look done when they come out. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for at least 3 minutes before moving them to a rack to finish cooling, then feel free to devour!


Anonymous said...

I haven't had these in ages! I think it's time to whip up a batch. Yum! said...

Looks GREAT!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of these but they sounds good!

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