Friday, June 12, 2015

Melting Moments

Melting Moments - made dough May 23, 2015, adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans
Over Memorial Day weekend, I had plans that got canceled at the last minute which meant I ended up with some free time. Which translates into something to do with baked goods. In this case, I started mixing up cookie doughs, trying out recipes from my baking books and socking them away in the freezer for baking later when I might be more compressed for time and need something to bring somewhere. Because you know there’s always a sometime somewhere where I show up with goodie bags in hand or a cookie plate at the ready.
Which is why I love making cookie dough in my spare time (yeah, it’s a hobby). It’s like my inner Linus having a security blanket. Never will I be caught off guard when I need to bring dessert. All I need is a little notice and I can just pop these suckers in the oven. Near-instantaneous fresh cookies on demand.
The original recipe for these called for making a filling with chocolate chips. It does come from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook after all. I decided to buck convention and sandwich them with – what else? – cookie butter. You can also use Nutella.
I did deviate from the original recipe in that while I did bake them at 300 degrees, I didn’t leave them in as long as 30 minutes. I didn’t want them to get dry and I only baked them until I could see a golden color peeking around the edges of the cookies.  It took maybe 15-18 minutes, tops. To dress them up a little, I made them into small dough balls then pressed the dough balls with the pointed end of a meat mallet to get the nice indents. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar then freeze. You want to press them to approximately the same thickness since, when you bake them on a cookie sheet, the thinner cookies will bake up faster than thicker cookies and you don’t want uneven baking.

Let them cool completely before sandwiching with the filling of your choice. Remember those Speculoos sandwich cookies from Trader Joe’s? These were kind of like that in terms of crispness and taste although these weren’t as richly buttery. But they’re good vanilla sandwich cookies and set up the filling quite nicely. Definitely a winner in the sandwich cookie category.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Cookie butter or Nutella for filling
  1. Combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine.
  2. Cream together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add dry ingredients in 2 batches, beating until just combined each time.
  4. Scoop into small balls and flatten with the pointed side of a meat mallet or the tines of a fork,
  5. Chill or freeze for several hours until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and space cookies evenly.
  7. Bake until the tops feel firm and the cookie bottoms are lightly browned, about 30 minutes; the tops of the cookies should not color. 
  8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Sandwich with cookie butter or nutella.

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