Taste and see …

a rainy Saturday… and two recipes March 13, 2010

Filed under: Cookies,Desserts — F. Penner @ 6:13 PM
Tags: , , ,

It’s been raining here since yesterday, and apparently it’s supposed to keep raining through Monday.  Quite a change from the beautiful sunny weather I was enjoying earlier in the week!  My Saturdays are generally low-key – I’ll do my grocery shopping, clean (maybe), hang out with people… just generally veg and enjoy a day of not having to do anything specific.  All through this past week, I was trying to figure out what I could make with some leftover lemon juice & zest I had from another recipe.  I was initially thinking lemon curd, and then make a cake roll with that as my filling.  But then the yolks that I had frozen were a bit rubbery when they thawed – ew! – so I decided to hunt for something else, and found a recipe for Lemon Whoopie Pies.  The only whoopie pies I’ve had recently are what you normally think of – two chocolate cakey cookies, with a fluffy buttercream frosting in between, courtesy of my uncle, who started Chococoa Baking Co. a couple of years ago.  So I was intrigued by the idea of a lemon cookie with with lemon frosting – it sounded amazing!  I make the cookies, went shopping, and sat down to wait for the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature for the frosting.  But then I became impatient, so I decided to help them along by sticking them in the microwave for about 10 seconds… and then I made the frosting.  It seemed a little softer than it should be (probably because I decided to help the butter & cream cheese soften :)), so I followed Joy the Baker’s advice and put it in the fridge for a little bit.  Not all of my cookies were the same size, although I thought I had used the same amount of batter for each one, so while I was waiting for the frosting to harden up a little, I went through and matched them up.  Yes, I am just that particular.  I dolloped the frosting on half of the cookies, placed the other half on top, and voila!


They are awesome.  And with a cream cheese frosting in the middle, you really can’t go wrong.  Soo! good.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the leftover frosting.  It seemed a shame to just get rid of it, so I saved it.  But I’m not really sure what I can do, other than sneak spoonfuls of it occasionally over the next week… that might have to suffice. 😛

I was going to just let it go at the whoopie pies, and do something more productive with the rest of my afternoon, but I had seen a recipe in a recent issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine for milk chocolate cookies with a peanut butter frosting in the middle that I really wanted to make – the recipe claimed to taste like a Reese’s peanut butter cup.  Who can resist that??  So I got everything set for recipe #2.

Peanut Butter-Stuffed Milk Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups (15 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, and divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium, microwavable bowl, melt together 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter on medium power until almost melted, about 1 1/2 minutes; stir just until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla at high speed until thickened and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate at medium speed; whisk in the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough until firm enough to scoop, but still soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Onto each prepared pan, drop 12 rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart. Bake, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cookies appear bubbly and still soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the peanut butter. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; beat until fluffy. On the flat side of each of 12 cookies, spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture; sandwich with the remaining cookies.

I never actually follow recipes when they tell you to put 2 sheets in the oven at the same time – the couple times I’ve done that, it just doesn’t work out for me!  I wasn’t as impressed with recipe #2 – it tasted good (and somewhat close to a Reese’s cup) but the cookie was a little too chewy, and not in a good way.  Maybe I overbaked them – but when I pulled the first sheet out after 12 minutes the cookies looked underbaked so I put them in for a couple more minutes.  They weren’t soft like the recipe said they should be, although I don’t know that I’ve ever really had much success at baking a truly soft cookie.  I get paranoid that they’re not done, especially when I’ve never made the recipe before, and end up baking them a minute or two longer than necessary.  You’d think I’d learn…

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