Archive | December, 2008

cookies = bribery

6 Dec


good help these days apparently come at a price: cookies. 

my car for the last 7 years has had this amazing oooga horn in it.  seemed like the best way to prove how cool and hip i was to all the other high school kids.  seriously, people.  it was the best thing ever.  i used to honk it in the school parking lot and kids would jump in the air and/or go beserk.  best part: they had no idea it came from my car.  because, let’s face it, xterras do not oooga.  welp, it had been a good run and my ooga horn 7 years later pretty much sounded like an old man grunting.  this did not work well in my new life as a masshole where honking is a necessary form of driver communication.  in georgia, no one honks (the exception being to scare their classmates).  in mass, honking is not just frequent, but compulsive.   so it became necessary to replace the ooga (aka grunt) horn for something more practical… like the horn my car came with.  and with my father, my usual mechanic, thousands of miles away, i needed to call in reenforcements.  and that reenforcement wanted payment: cookies.

now, cookies i could do.  and when a wanted to have a girl’s night of cooking, baking, and feasting, i decided this was the perfect opportunity to pay back my hard laboring friend for his efforts.  to the sounds of patty griffin and other folk talents, we slaved away attempting to recreate 101cookbooks fabulously gourmet looking brown sugar sandwich cookies.  these cookies are ex.cell.ent.  wafer thin, brown sugary dough, poppy seeds, chocolate center… yowzah.  we deviated a bit from heidi’s recipe in that she was fancy and we lacked that fanciness… but hell, they were fabulous nonetheless.

what you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup good-quality brown sugar / natural cane sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon big flaky sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
6-7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1. preheat oven to 350. place the racks in the top 1/3 of the oven.

2. in a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds.

3. in a separate bowl,  beat the butter until it is fluffy and creamy. add the sugar and mix some more, scraping the sides of the bowl once along the way. mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again if needed. being careful not to over-mix, stir in the flour mixture by hand. if the dough is on the dry side, stir in the milk also.

4. turn the dough out onto the counter-top, kneed it once or twice (just so it comes together) and form one large ball. cut the dough into four quarters, then shape each piece into a ball. flatten each of the four balls into 1/2-inch thick pancakes, and wrap each piece individually in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

5. roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. it should be wafer thin, about 1/8-inch.



6. grab a cookie cutter to stamp out your wafer thin cookies. (note: seriously tricky to remove them from the board after you stamp, so i did this twisty maneuver that made the stamped piece come up with the cutter and then popped it right out.)

7. arrange cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets before sprinkling with a small pinch of salt and sugar.

8. bake for about seven minutes or until the cookie edges are golden brown. remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. (note: make sure the oven is actually on.  a and i were completely confused when 30 minutes later our cookies were still (!!) not cooked yet.  please don’t judge: it’s a new oven!)

9. once the cookies have cooled, you will be ready to assemble.  now you need to place the chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl placed over a bit of simmering water) to melt. spread about 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the center of the flat side of one cookie. top with another cookie – matching flat side to flat side. repeat with the remaining cookies, setting them aside to let the chocolate set.

(this recipe will make about2 dozen sandwich cookies.)

10.  pass out to w to repay your car horn assembly debt.