Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Cookie Debate

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
Printable Recipe

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.


Gala said...

Love the shape you chose for the cookies!

Jill G. said...

I can't wait to make these! They look irresistible:)

veron said...

Such lovely cookies. You know, the cookie I like depends on my mood..on whether it's morning or afternoon. Morning i love biscotti and shortbread cookies with coffee or tea. And then after lunch, the chocolate chip cookie whether crisp or chunky is the cookie of choice..of course I zap it a bit in the microwave for that melty chocolate effect.

Jennifer said...

These are SO perfect!

Finla said...

I am with you if there is chocolate i am in :-)

Jason Sandeman said...

I am partial to a Czech cookie called Vinoklovie Rholicke.

They are cresents made of Walnut powder that are like a shortbread, dusted with vanilla scented icing sugar.

I have never been ale to tell if they go stale or not, because they never last that long!

pixen said...

Your cookies are sooooo delicious and beautiful! The beautiful photos really great! Really, I don't bother any debates... I rather have those cookies and a large bowl of that gorgeous ganache to dip, please!!! But deep down inside, I do disliked raisins in cookies when I was a kid and still today. I don't mind on raisin bread or scones but not 'IN' my cookies or biscuits! The taste of burnt and sticky raisins stuck between my teeth really unappetizing for me :-|

avaserfi said...

Those look gorgeous. Did you use a cookie press or pipe them?

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

These were made with a cookie press.

Heidi said...

As I have gotten older and as I have baked more, I honestly have come to appreciate all sorts of flavors and textures in cookies that I swore that I'd never eat. A certain cookie may not be my first choice but if they are made well, I can appreciate what they are all about. Nuts are pretty much not my thing though although I will TASTE something that includes them. I have also made spritz cookie sandwiches and am always amazed at how fancy they look when in reality, they are so quick and easy to put together. I believe I have some posted on my blog. Now after reading about yours, I want to make them again. I have some chocolate ganache in the fridge leftover from something else so maybe I need to pull it out and use it between 2 spritz!


amy and ann said...

I guess my all time fav. is shortbread. Butter, sugar, flour. You just can't beat that. Dipped in chocolate too.

Jada said...

I agree with you on the shortbread-types dipped in chocolate. Or with fruit jams. Or almonds. YUM!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin