Friday, September 25, 2009

A Coffee Lover’s Cookie

I saw this recipe pop up on my Google reader from Joy the Baker and I knew I needed to make them sooner rather than later. Oh my, am I glad I did!! These cookies are heavenly! My hubby’s birthday was in August and since I had been making cakes every weekend for my decorating classes, I knew I wanted to surprise him with something other than cake. The hubby has an obsession for coffee, I won’t bore you with the details, but we have an endless supply of coffee/espresso machines in our kitchen, so I knew these would be perfect for a sweet birthday treat. Little did I know that these cookies would become my obsession!! The cookie itself is like a salty chocolate wafer, but when you add the filling it becomes a perfectly balanced sweet and salty treat, my favorite combination.
Tip: If you like the texture of a crunchy cookie, serve the day they are made. Once the filling is added, the cookie begins to take on a softer texture. I actually liked the cookie better the second day when they were nice and soft, but the hubby liked the crunch from the first day.

Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies
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For the Filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
heaping 1/4 teaspoon  instant espresso powder

For the Cookies:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
15 Tablespoons (7 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, but into 3/4-inch cubes, at room temperature

To make the filling:
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to boil over medium heat.  Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate and espresso powder.  Make sure all the chocolate is covered by the cream.  Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk the white chocolate until completely melted. 
Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let stand until room temperature.  You’ll need the filling thicker to assemble the cookies, so cover the filling and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or an hour, until a thick consistency is reached.  If the filling hardens too much, it can be re-warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. 

To make the cookies:
Position the racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder and mix on low speed.  With the mixer running, add the butter a few pieces at a time.  The mixture will have a sandy texture at first and then will begin to form peddle-size pieces.  As soon as the dough starts to come together, stop the mixer. 
Form and roll the dough straight from the mixer.  The dough becomes hard to work with if chilled. 
Transfer the dough to a board and use the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper to shape the dough into a block about 5 x 7 inches.  Cut the block into two pieces. 
One at a time, roll each block of dough between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper until about 1/8-inch thick.  Using a cookie cutter, cut into 2 inch rounds.  Place 1/2 to 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  You can form and roll the dough scraps once after the first roll.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking.  Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets for 2 to 5 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely. 

To assemble the cookies:
Place half of the cookies upside down on a work surface.  Whip the filling lightly with a whisk to loosen it.  It will lighten in color and fluff up.  Don’t over whip or the filling may begin to separate. 
Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain tip.  I just scooped my filling out by the scant teaspoonful.  Pipe or dollop one teaspoon of filling in the center of each upside down cookie.  Gently, using your fingers, press the cookies together until the filling comes just to the edges. 
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Source: Joy the Baker, adapted from The Essence of Chocolate

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