Friday, December 14, 2012

Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches with Vanilla Mint Latte Cream



I’ve never claimed that baking is my strong suit.  Notice that my first two cookie recipes were really simple.  However, I felt compelled to step out of my comfort zone and create a truly complicated and phenomenal cookie.  On paper this one sounded good; red velvet cookie sandwich with vanilla mint cream.  Everyone loves crushed candy cane.  It wouldn’t be the holidays without it.  So why not roll the cream filling in this crunchy, minty delight?

Well, here’s how it actually went:

While preparing the red velvet batter, I quickly realized I had sub-standard red food die.  These cookies were not going to pop like the classic.  Darn!  Maybe I should just call them chocolate sandwiches.  But they didn’t have that rich brown hue I would strive for either.  Hhhhmmmm.  Recipe development 101 gone bad.   I added some extra cocoa to the remaining batter.  It helped.

As well, the edges of the cookies were too fragile to roll in crushed candy cane.  OK that was easy – sprinkle on top.

Next, if the color wasn’t going to pop, the creamy center must!  Instead of a simple vanilla mint cream, I thought of my favorite drink at the Coffee Bean – Vanilla Mint Latte.  Let’s zest up the center with a touch of coffee.

After all the trial and tribulation, this cookie is good.  The color may be off, but not the taste.  The cookie is delicate with a subtle chocolate flavor.  The cream filling is the star and slowly melts in your mouth along with the tender outside.

I have provided some alternatives in this recipe so you can either make classic red velvet or simple chocolate.  Enjoy the season and don’t get bogged down in cookie craziness like some of us.













Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches with Vanilla Mint Latte Cream 
*see adjustments below for red velvet

Yield: 36 cookies, 18 substantial sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter room temeperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 small candy canes, crushed
  • powdered sugar for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to wet. Mix until combined.
  4. Onto a well greased cookie sheet, drop rounded one tablespoon of batter. Drop 2 inches apart from each other - they will spread!
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
* for red velvet use 2 tablespoons of cocoa and add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of red gel food dye to wet ingredients.


Vanilla Mint Latte Cream

Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temeperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2-3 tablespoons strong coffee
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and continue beating until combined (add one more cup if you'd like cream thicker). Mix in extract, vanilla bean and coffee
  2. With a small star tip, pip cream onto one side of cookie and sandwich with another cookie.
  3. Sprinkle cookie with candy cane and powdered sugar.
  4. Store in airtight container.