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Crispy Witches' Hats
© John Kernick

Crispy Witches' Hats

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: makes about 2 dozen cookies
  • MAKE-AHEAD

  1. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  2. 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  3. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  4. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  7. 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  8. 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Off the heat, stir in 4 ounces of the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let the ganache cool.
  2. In a food processor, combine the pecans with the flour and salt and pulse until finely ground. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and ground pecan mixture. Transfer the batter to a bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Scoop 48 level teaspoons of the batter and roll each into a ball. Place 8 balls on a large ungreased cookie sheet, 4 inches apart. Keep the rest of the balls refrigerated. Bake the cookies for 9 minutes, or until they stop bubbling. Set the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 3 minutes. Working very quickly, form 4 of the cookies into cones: Carefully lift 1 cookie at a time with a spatula and roll it, bumpy side out, into a cone shape. Press the seam to close, transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Transfer the remaining 4 flat cookies to the rack. Repeat with the remaining balls, forming half into cones and transferring the remaining flat cookies to a wire rack to cool. Between batches, run the underside of the baking sheet under cool water and wipe it dry.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 5 ounces of chocolate. Using a small pastry brush, brush the chocolate all over the bumpy surface of the cones and the flat cookies and transfer them to the prepared sheets; warm the chocolate if it becomes too thick. Refrigerate the cookies just until the chocolate is set.
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch plain tip with the chocolate ganache. Pipe a ring of ganache on a flat cookie, about the size of the rim of a cone. Carefully place the cone on the ganache, holding it in place just until set. Repeat to make the remaining hats. Refrigerate just until chilled. Run a thin knife under the cookies to release them from the wax paper, transfer to a platter and serve.
Make Ahead The cookies can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
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