Sunday, January 31, 2010

[Cookie 061] Chocolate Mint Sandwiches

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Remember when I mentioned last week about the craziness that is Dean & Deluca? Well, I still stand by everything I said (and today I plan to head on over there and buy a little something called Sir Francis Bacon's Chocolate Covered Peanut Bacon Brittle--don't judge me), but I also mentioned that they sell Chocolate Mint Sandwiches in a set of 27 for $65. And that I have a recipe for you to make your own. And that we can all put 2 and 2 together and realize that this will probably save us a penny or two, right?

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Now, in theory, I would think that no amount of physical labor and/or exquisite Valrhona chocolate could ever justify a price like that at...well...anywhere, but truth be told, I would need some substantial compensation in order to make these guys again. They were very tasty, chocolatey and super minty, but they actually took quite a bit of effort.

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Let me elaborate, oui? Making the dough--a total breeze, no big deal. But things got a little sticky (pun...intended) during the rolling and re-rolling of the dough. This stuff does not want to leave the warm comfort of your cutting board. It coils itself tightly around your rolling pin like a boa constrictor around an innocent and unsuspecting daschund. No amount of powdered sugar or flour will allow your rolling pin free reign over the sticky expanse of dough. Really, I tried.

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So, seeing as I was working with my dad, Fix-It Man 2010, he suggested that we abandon the rolling pins (we tried every variety that we owned, all to no avail) and use our bare hands instead. So we pressed down on this metaphorical boa constrictor (I should abandon that metaphor I think...) wherever we saw lumps and bumps, and eventually got it thin enough to work with. Unfortunately this meant less than perfect cookies, because the dough was never uniformly thin, but what can you do! Gotta make it work once you've already invested a couple sticks of butter and about 30 pounds of cocoa.

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Side tangent: We had leftover ganache, so we thought, "Hey! Minty hot cocoa anyone? Hell yes!"

It didn't work. As you can see. Good try, though.
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Pressing on (har har), we began to cut circles of dough out. Obviously, this wasn't too simple either considering that the dough had seeped about halfway through the thickness of our wooden cutting board. But we ended up with enough circles to make quite a few sandwiches.

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After baking the cookies, you fill the centers with the minty filling--which is easy--and the you let them dry. Make sure you stick them in the fridge for that so they can be easily dipped into the ganache later. Yep, that's about it. It's a fun recipe if you ignore the trials of rolling the dough, so I still suggest you try it if you're feeling feisty! Plus, they are a chocolate lover's dream come true. So dense. So dark. So rich, minty, indulgent, awesome, make them, bake them, do it, I compel you.

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And when you're done, maybe you'll be more likely to spend $65 on some more. Or maybe you won't. But maybe you'll understand. Or maybe you won't. I still don't. Whatever.

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Chocolate Mint Sandwiches
Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients
  • FOR THE COOKIES
  • 1 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • Confectioners' sugar, for work surface
  • FOR THE GANACHE
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • FOR THE GLAZE
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

Directions
  1. Make cookies: Whisk together cocoa powder and flour in a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg until well blended. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer dough to a work surface lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 2-inch round cookie cutter; space 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining scraps of dough. Bake cookies until firm, rotating sheets halfway through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  3. Meanwhile, make ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly until chocolate is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Let cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1 teaspoon ganache onto the bottom of 1 cookie; sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and ganache. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
  5. Make glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly. Let cool slightly. Dip one flat side of each sandwich into melted chocolate to coat; gently shake off excess. Place sandwiches, chocolate sides up, on wire racks set over baking sheets. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cookies can be refrigerated in a single layer in airtight containers up to 2 days.

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{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 4/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
Tastiness: 3/5
Attractiveness: 4.5/5
Is it worth it?: I don't really think it's worth the effort involved, but hey, what does it matter what I think anyway?

{Pairings}
Drink: Dark chocolate cookie = milk. You should know this by now.
Song: One Piece at a Time -- Johnny Cash
Activity: Assembly line. Imagine: get all your friends in the kitchen, one person bakes, one fills, one sandwiches, one glazes. Bada-bing bada-boom! You are Dean & Deluca!

18 comments:

Anne said...

what's up with the 3/5 tastiness score??
Bt-dubs, I'm really regretting my decision to go to school on the west coast because I'm THAT much farther away from your amazing cookie creations...oh, and you too. ;)
You know my address, thasalli'msayin.

Memória said...

Well, despite the difficulty, these cookies came out beautifully!! Wow. Gorgeous photos.

Adriana said...

i laughed so much with this post... the cookies look amazingly wonderful, i'm gonna have to find myself a strong man if i try to make them!

Becky said...

These cookies sound delish and so beautiful ... lots of work but worth it for a fun ocassion. Love your blog and descriptions.

bqualley said...

They look yummy. I suggest rolling the dough between sheets of plastic wrap. That should solve the problem.

Lizzie said...

bqualley- GENIUS! i've done that before, but it totally didn't occur to me to do it this time. i'll definitely remember that, though, for future use! thanks

ali said...

Those look amazing! I wonder though.... if you hand rolled the dough into a log and sliced off discs either with a serrated knife or with dental floss, would that have worked better? I think you should make them again and let us know. And then you can send that batch to me ;)

screwdestiny said...

Yeah, I was thinking plastic wrap, too. Anyway, I think they look great considering your make shift "rolling".

Dean & DeLuca said...

Mmmmm your cookies look delicious. Perhaps you should try rolling the dough between pieces of wax paper.

Anonymous said...

We have made a similar cookie with a much easier method. We made a box of brownies and spread them thinly onto a sheet pan. Then follow the rest of the steps for filling and icing.
These can be cut into the shape of footballs andwith a dash of white icing laces will be perfest Super Bowl treats.

Barbara said...

I miss you - Ma

Jim said...

Mr. Fix-It 2010?

Kim said...

Wow do these look amazing! I could seriously eat several of them in one setting.

Veronica M. said...

Wow, these look AMAZING. I might make these for birthday treats for a mint-lover, but I'll either roll the dough into logs and slice it or roll it out between sheets of waxed paper. I'll let you know if it works!

Bachelor Chow said...

These look awesome... except for the mint. :P

jfklds said...

"buy a little something called Sir Francis Bacon's Chocolate Covered Peanut Bacon Brittle--don't judge me)"

this little nugget made me like you even MORE


and hey these cookies look AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the first picture... would make martha throw up on herself because she could never take a picture so nice

Anonymous said...

i was talking to my mom about your difficulty with the rolling of the dough and she suggested cornstarch. She makes candy every year, including homemade fondant, and says using powdered sugar makes it a sticky mess, but cornstarch works like a charm!

laurelvb said...

Gosh you are funny!
Might I respectfully add my voice to those who suggested rolling between sheets of plastic wrap (or wax paper); and using cocoa powder rather than cornstarch on both the top and the bottom of the dough and between the sheets, so to speak. Also, I'll bet you could get some great hot cocoa if you heated the left over ganache over hot water until it was liquid and slowly add in hot milk, stirring the while. Gosh, sounds wonderful. BTW you're my new hero.