Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Is it Friday yet?  Boy, what a week, I still feel like I am recovering from the bunnies this weekend!  I am definitely looking forward to a bunny-free weekend.  After all, it is December – time to really start some serious baking.  I am still on the fence as to whether I am going to go with my old standbys, or if I am going to try out some new stuff.  Knowing me, I have to try at least a few new things, but I am also looking forward to these and definitely these.

I have always secretly been intrigued with sandwich cookies.  It has taken me years to figure out why – and I think I finally nailed it.  It is also why my kids seem to go nuts with them as well.  Cookies are great, but sandwich cookies are awesome – you get double the cookie with a bonus of filling.  As a kid, who never got any cookies – to get a sandwich cookie was really hitting the jack pot.  Normally I only let my kids pack one cookie in their lunch as dessert – but when I have sandwich cookies in the house – they get two cookies in one!  Wow, how has this been staring me in the face all this time?

I saw these cookies in Cooking Light, and thought these would be great to kick-start the holiday season.  The chocolate filling was delicious and rich, and the cookies were nice and chewy soft.  Plus, at 156 calories per sandwich, you are really getting a good deal.  You can choose any cookie cutter that floats your boat – we chose hearts and stars.  Then you can make baby cookies out of those shapes – just don’t let them burn, they cook faster than the bigger round cookies.  Now is it Friday yet?

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 8 ounces cake flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • Dash of salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cookies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking powder, stirring with a whisk. Place powdered sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla; beat 1 minute or until well combined. Add the flour mixture; beat on low-speed until just combined.

Shape the dough into a 6-inch disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes. Discard plastic. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 36 (2-inch) round cookies, rerolling scraps as necessary. Using a small decorative cookie cutter, cut a heart-shaped opening in 18 rounds. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine chocolate and 2 tablespoons milk in a microwave-safe dish; microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Stir just until smooth. Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, and dash of salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture; stir just until smooth. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.) Divide chocolate mixture evenly among 18 whole cookies; spread in a thin, even layer. Top each cookie with a cut-out cookie.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Advertisements

Mint-Glazed Butter Thins

My older daughter has been asking lately to bake all by herself.  She has done it a couple of times, and it has worked out well – but most of the time I want to be in the kitchen with her…when I am home, there is nowhere else I would rather be.

I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it look extremely easy.  Easy enough for her to make by herself – so I made a deal with her.  I told her that I would make the dough, then while I was making dinner, she could prepare the cookies on the sheet.  I figured she would like rolling the dough in powdered sugar, then smashing them and sprinkling more powdered sugar on top.  I was right – she loved it – and she was great at it!  I tried one, and hers looked much better!  By the time the cookies were ready to be glazed, she was working on a different project – so I finished them off.  It was definitely a team effort – and it went splendidly.  Now I just have to get my younger one to join in, and we can have a whole assembly line going – think about all the baked goods then…

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) heavy whipping cream

Preparation

Position racks in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Using electric mixer, beat first 4 ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and salt in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in flour.

Place 1 cup powdered sugar in bowl. Working with 1 level tablespoon at a time, shape dough into balls; roll in powdered sugar to coat. Place on sheet. Press each lightly with flat-bottomed cup. Sprinkle each with more powdered sugar, then press again to thin 3 1/4-inch round. Bake cookies 8 minutes. Reverse sheets; bake until golden at edges, about 9 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, stir 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 2 tablespoons cream in small bowl until smooth, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread.

Transfer cookies to rack; spread glaze over warm cookies. Cool on rack.

Makes 24 cookies.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Mint-Glazed Butter Thins

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

This time of year I love to make gingerbread.  I love the way it smells, and love the way the spices all blend together to make something magical.  I was looking for something to make that my daughter could bring to her book club.  The only problem was that it had to be frozen – so gingerbread in my mind was not an ideal option – although for some reason I was stuck on it.  So – I naturally started thinking cookies since they freeze rather well – and combed through my favorite cookie book by Martha Stewart.  I immediately looked up gingerbread, and this is what I found.  They seemed perfect – and with the chocolate chips, it would take gingerbread to a different level.

The cookies were fabulous.  She said they were a big hit at book club – which was good news for me.  I loved how they tasted with the chocolate chips (yes, I happened to sneak one before I froze them), and how the outside of the cookies sparkled with sugar granules.  She also said that you would never have known they were frozen – also a plus.  This holiday season, try some chocolate with your gingerbread – I think you will be happy you did!

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preparation

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine