Wee! It’s Food Blogger 2013 Cookie Swap time! My cookies last year are still one of my most popular posts (who knew folks loved a classic Italian cookie as much as I do?) so I’m hoping these hit the mark again this year. For Christmas last year I had asked for this cookie stamp that reads “EAT ME” and for whatever reason never used it until now. It’s probably because roll and cut cookies intimidate me a little. I always remember my mother setting up a huge station on the kitchen table every year for Christmas with sugar cookie dough, a million sprinkles and cookie cutters and spending the better part of the day making cookies. Not that it wasn’t a blast and all that raw sugar cookie dough was the best but in my head cutout cookies are a day long affair. Let me tell you, not the case. Plan ahead and make your filling and dough the day before, then all you have to do is roll and cut which really doesn’t take that much more time than scooping and rolling. And because you’re not decorating the tops of these you don’t need to panic if they’re a bit wibbly (like mine) or don’t bake up in the shape you were expecting. Just fill, sandwich, and go. Also, did I mention these are imitation Oreo’s? America’s favorite cookie? Can you go wrong? I vote that you cannot!
This year I got some truly delicious cookies. I’m a delinquent and totally forgot to take photos (I may have also eaten them all by the time I figured out that photographing them would be a good idea). The first batch I received were from Megan over at Nutrition Awareness. They were delightful maple gingerbread cookies with maple syrup from her parents farm! How cool is that? Next up were dark chocolate peppermint bark cookies from Betsy at Betsy Life. These little guys shipped all the way from San Diego and were still so soft and chewy. Winner winner! Last but not least were the most addictive lemon meringue cookies that I could barely stop eating when I first opened the package. Also tucked inside was a bottle of homemade vanilla! Meghan at Stir & Scribble was truly generous with her adorable package. I’m so thrilled to be a part of this great opportunity and I hope to keep in touch with everyone this year (instead of just stalking them from afar like I have every other year…total weirdo). Anyhoodle, I took a recipe straight from the Bouchon Bakery this year, changing only the filling and the type of cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s instead of some crazy expensive dark version). Now that I’ve made it once I might change it a bit more in the future, but every gal’s gotta start somewhere.
*Just a Note: You’ll want to use a good white chocolate, or else it’ll seize while you’re melting it and then you’ll cry and beg your boyfriend to run out to the store and get more and he’ll have no idea what to get you and it will be a major catastrophe. Not that this happened this go around, I just know from a friend. Anyhoodle, Trader Joe’s makes great white chocolate chip that melts beautifully. Also, it’s cheap. Bingo!
- 259 g flour
- 87 g cocoa powder
- ⅜ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 tsp salt
- 161 g sugar
- 125 g white chocolate (at least 33% cocoa butter)
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- Make the filling first as it needs to chill for at least 4 hours before it's usable. In a small saucepan over low heat melt the chocolate and butter together carefully, stirring continuously to prevent seizing.
- Meanwhile in a small saucepan heat the cream just until steaming and little bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
- When the chocolate is melted whisk in the heavy cream until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until no longer runny (I refrigerated mine overnight).
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- Meanwhile cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the flour in two additions, mixing just until no streaks remain.
- Dump the dough out onto a work surface and pile into a mass, then flatten into a 2 inch thick disk.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 325º F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment or a slipat.
- Take out half the dough and roll out to ¼inch thickness. It helps if you bang the dough a few times with the rolling pin to soften up.
- Cut out with a 3 or 3½inch fluted cutter. You can re-roll the scraps at least twice before the dough will be overworked and your cookies tough.
- Bake 6-8 to a pan depending on how big your pans are, for 15-17 minutes, rotating half way through baking.
- Let cool on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies have cooled remove the filling from the fridge and whip with a hand mixer gradually adding powdered sugar until you reach a pipe-able consistency. It may take more or less depending on the humidity, you can also adjust how sweet you want it by thinning with more heavy cream or subbing in a little cornstarch for powdered sugar.
- Fit a piping bag with a plain tip (I used a Wilton #3) or snip a small corner off a ziplock bag and pipe the frosting into the center of one cookie leaving ¼ in gap around the edge. Fit the top with a matching cookie.
- If you want the pretty pearl look around the edge pipe tear drops around the edge with the tail pointed toward the center of the cookie, fill in the center with extra filling.