This month's Secret Recipe Club assignment was Vivian's blog Let's Try These. Vivian and I share a love for baking, so it was hard picking just one recipe to feature today, especially since she has so many yummy options to chose from, but I wanted to find a recipe that I could use with my snowflake cookie cutters. I settled on Vivian's Two-Tone Cookie Crinkles, a Better Homes and Gardens recipe. I don't know why they're called crinkles - there's nothing crinkled about them, but they sure are tasty, and they're so fun to make.
Two-Tone Ganache-Filled Snowflake Sandwich Cookies
makes approximately 30 cookies
For the cookies:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
For the ganache filling:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
To make the cookie dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the blade attachment, beat the butter on medium high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed.
- Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine.
- Add flour until incorporated.
- Divide dough into two portions; adding sifted cocoa powder to one portion.
- Wrap each portion with plastic wrap and chill for 1-3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Roll each dough portion to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut out desired shapes with floured cookie cutters, leaving the bottom halves solid.
- Place cookies 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet; bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until edges are set (tiny cutouts bake for 5-6 minutes).
- Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.
To make Ganache:
- Gently heat cream and chocolate together; stirring until completely smooth and combined (I did this in the microwave).
- Cover and chill for 30 minutes (or make the ganache several hours in advance and let it sit at room temperature until it reaches the proper spreading consistency).
To assemble cookies:
- Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the ganache in the center bottom of each cookie and make a sandwich by adding a decorative top cookie.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- To store, place unfilled cookies in an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper, at room temperature for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw and assemble just before service.
My notes: I'm not a fan of rolling cookie dough on a floured surface - the extra flour makes the cookies look messy, and it has a tendency to dry out the dough, making the cookies cut from the re-rolled scraps a lesser quality. Instead, I prefer to roll my dough between two layers of waxed paper - completely eliminating the need for extra flour and enabling the scraps to be re-rolled over and over again (chilling when needed). To prevent distortion, I cut my cookie shapes while the dough is still on the waxed paper, then slide the waxed paper onto a cookie sheet and chill for at least 10 minutes before transferring the shapes to a sheet pan.