Really, there's a picnic table under there! Can you see it?
Di, over at the lovely Di's Kitchen Notebook, offered to host a virtual cookie exchange this year with Kayte, Phyl, and several others who routinely do "Twitterbakes" together.
Stuck under 17 inches of snow (some are calling it Snowmaggedon or Snowpocolypse here) and therefore unexpectedly home on a Saturday afternoon, I jumped onto the baking bandwagon, along with Andrea. This was my first time joining in a Twitterbake ~ where a group of bakers bake the same, or a similar, recipe and tweet about their process ~ and it was great fun!
The recipe I chose was chocolate-peppermint sandwiches from the newest issue of Cook's Country, a finalist from their reader Christmas cookie contest.
I was initially concerned that I'd overbaked the cookies, but they ended up being perfectly chewy. The recipe calls for basic semi-sweet chocolate chips, which is what I used, but I'm intrigued with the thought of experimenting with a higher quality darker chocolate. The other change I'm planning to make next time (and there will be a next time!) is to use a smaller scoop. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of dough for each cookie; this made cookies that were way too big for my little ones. I think I will use a teaspoon next time.
I had some challenges with the frosting. It was too runny, not very pepperminty, and there was only enough to fill about half of the cookie sandwiches. I made several changes, which are indicated below.
The sandwich cookies were chocolately but not too sweet, and were tasty by themselves. But with the addition of the pepperminty frosting, they were just amazing!
Chocolate-Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
adapted from Cook's Country
For the cookie dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp water
For the frosting:
3 tsp milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 drops of red or green food coloring (optional)
For the cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350F with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions
2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl
4. Heat butter, chocolate, brown sugar, and water in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until smooth. (I used frozen butter, so I heated it on low heat for a bit by itself until it began to melt.)
5. Transfer to large bowl and beat in the egg.
6. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
7. Place 1 tbsp (I'll use a teaspoon next time) dough on the baking sheets. Bake cookies until puffed and edges are smooth, about 10 minutes (I baked them for 11 or 12). Cool 5 minutes on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.
For the filling:
1. Whisk melted butter, milk, and extract in medium bowl until combined. (Check peppermint flavor; the recipe calls for 1/8 tsp, but I couldn't taste the peppermint at all.) Add sifted sugar and mix until smooth. Then add food coloring, if desired. (I split mine into two batches and colored one red and one green.)
2. Spread 2 tsp filling over bottom of cookie (the recipe calls for 1 tsp, but that wasn't nearly enough to taste it between two cookies; 1 tsp might be enough for smaller cookies) and then top with remaining cookie.
(The recipe says that sandwiches can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days, but ours didn't make it that long.)
Thanks for hosting, Di! It was so much fun! (Check Di's post later this week for a round-up of all the fun cookies people baked!)