Sunday, September 6, 2009
There’s a contentious debate going on here about what the best variety of cookie is. The husband doesn’t play favorites (it’s not normal, I know), but he’s quick to say what he dislikes. He doesn’t much care for shortbread, thinks meringue cookies like these are too sweet, and is downright intolerant of chunky cookies, especially if they contain raisins or nuts. I, however, think all cookies are worth appreciating, be they soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies, crisp and crunchy biscotti, cakey and tender madeleines, rich and dense lemon bars, or light and delicate tuiles. While I don’t discriminate against any cookies (OK, I admit I’m with the hubby on the raisin-hate—let’s just say that my grandparents fed me my entire life’s allotment of raisins when I was a kid), I do have a favorite cookie type: sandy and crumbly. Give me a shortbread or spritz cookie, and I’m a happy camper. Even better if it’s dipped in chocolate. Care to join the debate?
Ganache Filled Spritz Cookies
2 ounces heavy cream
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped or ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces sugar
1 ½ ounces powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ¼ ounces eggs, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
9 ounces cake flour, sifted
Bring the cream to a bare simmer in a small, heavy saucepan. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl, add the hot cream, and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, and salt on medium until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low until blended. Add the flour and mix on low until the dough comes together, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a cookie press and press cookies about an inch apart onto parchment-lined baking trays. Bake for 17 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Transfer cookies to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
Spread a scant teaspoon of the ganache onto the bottom of one of the cookies and sandwich together with another cookie. Sandwich together the remaining cookies with the remaining ganache in the same manner.
Makes about 20 sandwich cookies. If you don’t have a cookie press, simply use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe cookies onto the baking trays in decorative shapes. Cookies keep for several days in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place.