Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies

For the treat table at last night's performance of my friend Sharon Whitney's play, "Eleanor Roosevelt-Across a Barrier of Fear," I made these Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies just because they are so delicious and I knew they would be a hit.

The recipe is from Julie Richardson of Baker & Spice Bakery and is so chocolatey and decadent that my sister took one taste of them and dubbed them "Grownup Oreo's."

I think it's the espresso powder in both the cookie and the Swiss meringue buttercream filling that makes them extra special.

Every cookie at the treat table had a link to Eleanor Roosevelt except for the Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies. I made them just because they are delicious. I suspect Eleanor would have approved.

The recipe makes about four dozen cookies and there always seems to be extra buttercream when I am done filling them. Not to worry though, the buttercream freezes beautifully and can used later to frost cakes and cupcakes.

Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies
(makes about 4 dozen 2-inch sandwiches)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups Dutch process Cocoa, sifted
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes or until light, scraping down the bowl occasionally as needed.

Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, blending lightly between additions.

Add the cocoa on low speed until combined.

Blend the flour, salt and espresso powder together and add to the butter mixture until just combined.
The rich chocolatey dough.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill for at least 1 hour.

Wrap the dough and let it chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

After chilling, the dough might need to warm at room temperature for a bit so that it can be easily rolled.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured work area to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
I used a 2-inch square cutter. The cookies are decadent and will be sandwiched together so I like to keep the size fairly small.

The cookies before baking.

Bake for about 6 minutes or until the cookies are no longer shiny but still soft in the middle.

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before filling them with the buttercream.
Let the cookies cool completely before filling.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

6 large egg whites
1 1/4  cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water.

Place the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar and cream of tartar.

Place bowl over a double boiler on medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture is very hot (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit).

Move to mixer and whip whites on high for 2 to 3 minutes; turn down to medium low until cool (use the bowl as your guide).

In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon, stir butter to soften.

With mixer on medium/high speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon just as the previous one is blended in. Once all the butter incorporated, add in vanilla, salt and coffee and whip on high speed until fluffy.

To Assemble:
Pair up the cookies and flip one of the cookies upside down.

On the upside down cookie, pipe on a dollop of buttercream and top with the other cookie.

Pair the cookies up and flip one upside down. Add a dollop of buttercream to the upside down cookie. Using a pastry bag makes this task easy.

Top with the other cookie and they are ready to eat.
Store the cookies in a sealed container in the refrigerator and bring to room temp before serving.

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