I think it's time for something fun! Something totally off the wall and different. How about cookies? And make it a cake-y sugar cookie, sandwiched with rich custard infused with vanilla bean, and topped with a luxurious chocolate ganache!
Wow, these cookies are pretty amazing. As individual parts (i.e. cookie, custard, ganache) they are delicious. Combine them all into one, however, and you have a full-on dessert. I guarantee you won't be eating more than one of these at a time! The hubby and I had to split our first taste-tester. Of course, we were taste-testing before dinner, so neither of us wanted to fill up on cookie. One cookie + a glass of milk= the perfect after dinner dessert.
I'd also like to add that these are probably a weekend cookie. They are labor-intensive, but don't let that scare you. They are worth it. These took the better part of my Saturday to make, but I'm not one to complain about fooling around in the kitchen. In fact, I think I perfectly timed making these cookies. I ended up making the custard while I set my butter and eggs out to soften for the dough. Once the custard was chilling in the fridge, I started on my dough. The dough is super-easy to make, and using my stand mixer, it only took about 15 minutes to get my dough in the fridge to chill. I showered while everything was chilling, and immediately came back to pre-heat the oven. The cookies were all baked and cooling within another 45 minutes. The custard needs a couple of hours to chill in the fridge so by the time I'd made the dough, chilled it, showered, baked and completely cooled all the cookies, it was ready to go. All that was left to do was to make the ganache.
I'd say the ganache took about 15 minutes to make, and it probably took 5 more minutes to drizzle chocolate on the cookies. So, to sum up, I started the cookies at 9 in the morning and by the time I finished cleaning up the fallout, it was 2 pm. As I said before, don't let this scare you! A lot of the time is hands-off (chilling, baking, cooling, etc.) and I was able to multi-task throughout. Indeed, I finished a book, got dinner prepped, took the dogs on a jaunt outside, and painted my toenails in that 5-hour window. A pretty successful day, if you ask me.
I'd highly recommend trying these cookies. You won't regret it. They'd be great for a potluck or crowd. They'd be great for anyone that likes sugar cookies. Or vanilla bean custard. Or chocolate. Or cream puffs. You know, because these cookies kind of remind me of cream puffs.
So, unbelievably, I seem to have caught another cold while on the tail-end of my first cold. I started getting a painfully sore throat yesterday, and it's even more sore today. Argh! This is incredibly frustrating. I'm not good at rest, and I've pretty much been resting non-stop for 2 weeks. Thank goodness for 2 things: bird-watching and books. I picked up 2 new suet baskets and a new feeder over the weekend, and the birds are coo-coo for cocoa puffs over the new seed dispensary. It's a tube feeder with 5 actual perches on it. I've caught up to 3 birds on it at the same time. It makes me giggle because it reminds me of people flocking to a bar. A bird bar, if you will (that could just be the cabin fever-induced insanity talking, peeps). I've also been burning through library books during this couple of weeks. I read one of my library books in 1 1/2 days. I literally couldn't put it down. Of course, the hubby did get a new video game for his birthday, so that's given me tons of reading time as well. I've surpassed my New Year's resolution of reading 1 book per month. In fact, my average is 2 books per month right now. Go Jessica!
So, will this be the week I get well? Fingers crossed!
Have a great week everyone!
Ingredients (makes 11 sandwich cookies):
1 cup + 3 tbsp almond milk
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
3-4 drops vanilla extract
1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temp
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
up to 2/3 cup half-n-half
1. Before making custard, set out butter and eggs for cookie dough.
2. Make the custard: Heat 1 cup almond milk in a medium size pot. Just when it starts to simmer, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk. Add vanilla bean pod to milk. Remove from heat, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pod from pot, and discard. Place back over medium heat, and add sugar and salt. In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp almond milk with 3 tbsp cornstarch. Whisk to thoroughly combine. While constantly stirring the milk and sugar mixture, slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot. In another small bowl, thoroughly whisk the egg yolks. Slowly stir 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks to temper them. Slowly add egg mixture back to hot milk mixture on the stove. Whisk constantly over medium heat until custard begins to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Strain mixture through a sieve. Place a piece of plastic wrap over completed custard to keep a skin from forming, and place in fridge. Chill for 2-3 hours.
3. Make the dough: In a stand-mixer bowl, combine butter and sugar. Mix until it forms a crumbly mixture. Mix in vanilla. Mix in eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until well combined. Chill dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. Remove dough from fridge. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Using a 2-tbsp cookie scoop, roll dough into balls. Place dough 2 inches apart (about 8 cookies to a sheet). Using the bottom of a glass, slightly flatten dough balls. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on cookie sheet, them remove them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before moving on to the next step.
5. Place custard in a pastry bag. Pipe about 1 tbsp of custard onto the bottom of 11 of the sugar cookies. Sandwich with another sugar cookie. Place sandwiches on another cookie sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper.
6. Make the ganache: Using a double broiler, place chocolate in bowl. Add 1-2 tbsp of half-n-half and constantly stir while chocolate is melting. Add more half-n-half until chocolate is completely melted and consistency is good for drizzling chocolate onto cookies. Drizzle chocolate as desired onto cookies, allowing chocolate to drip down over cookies. Place completed cookies in fridge and allow to set for 30 minutes before serving. Store cookies in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
|Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run.|
Looking for other cookie recipes? Try these!