Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Peppery Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

We made these for our board-game night and while I would like to be able to tell you how well they keep, we didn't have any leftovers so the answer is - I don't have a clue :)
I found these in 'Baked Explorations' and while it's already been out for a couple of months, I think if you're going to buy only one cake-related cookbook this year, make it this one!
Anyhow, let's get back to the cookies :)
The description in the book talks about how they are a grown-up version of Oreos but they keep reminding me of Prinzenrolle and being a kid (even though that has vanilla cookie on the outside and chocolate on the inside), but either way, they are amazing and out of the cookies I have made recently they have received the highest praise from my testers (so high that I am not quite comfortable repeating Manuel's comment).
Oh, and the general consensus was that while they are amazing if you use a 5cm cookie cutter, they would probably be even nicer if they were slightly smaller (and try sprinkling the fleur de sel evenly across the tops, not just the middle).

Peppery Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
450g Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Fleur De Sel + more for decorating
11/2 tsp White Pepeper
30g Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
350g Butter, cut into cubes, not cold but not at room temperature
250g Granulated Sugar
225g Icing Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
100g Dark Chocolate, melted

For the filling:
150g Vegetable Shortening
50g Butter, both at room temperature
400g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Dark Rum (I know it's not gonna be super white, but think about the flavour)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and set them aside.
Cream the butter and both sugars. Then, add the egg yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Whisk until things are properly mixed in.
Add half the dry ingredients, beat for about 15 seconds, add remainder beat until incorporated, don't overbeat at this point.
Chill the dough for at least 3 hours (I would just go for overnight, though creaming the butter in my flat at 10pm was a bit of a challenge).

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line bakingsheets with parchment.
Take out 1/4 of the dough,put rest back into fridge (this is important, I tried to get around this and didn't's a lot easier if the dough is properly chilled).
Knead the dough until pliable, then roll it out until 1/4 inch thick, the surface gets a bit sticky so keep some flour handy in case you have to dust the surface with flour.
Cut out the cookies and transfer them to the baking sheet.
Continue with rest of dough. If you have scraps, put them back into the fridge for a while before you reuse them (don't try using them straight again...bad me....)
Sprinke the tops of cookies with fleur de sel (an even distribution was advocated by my trusty testers :) )
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, rotating the sheet(s) halfway through.
Let  them cool for a bit, then, using a spatula, move the cookies from the sheets onto a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
Beat the shortening and butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar in 3 parts. Then add the salt, vanilla and rum and beat again (while you stop youself from eating all the icing).
If the icing is too thick, add a drop of water and beat it again.
Fill the cookies with about 1tbsp icing each, then get some lovely people together and enjoy the cookies and their company :)

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