One of the many ways I'm trying to save the planet is by jotting down recipes and ideas in a little journal. Unless the recipe includes a fantastic Cirque du Soleil feat of baking acrobatics, all I really need to know are the ingredients. (I've also been out of printer ink for months.)
Apparently I need to read what I've actually written down, instead of allowing my mind to fill in the pot holes with panic-induced images of recipe Fail hashtags.
When I made the butterscotch filling for these cookies, it seized up on me. Twice. The third time wasn't quite the charm, but I somehow managed to pull it off. It wasn't until I took another look at the recipe this morning that I realized I'd forgotten to add cream.
It was in my notes. I just overlooked it...the same way I sometimes overlook silly editing errors in my blog posts. ;) Sometimes my brain only sees intentions, instead of what's actually There.
Filling flop aside, these cookies received a lot of mouth covering, wide-eyed, "these cookies are the best!" remarks.
I love that kind of reaction.
They do look slightly Oreo-ish, but that's where the similarities end. The actual cookies themselves are delightfully rich and unapologetically chocolate. They have a slight softness at the center, which keeps them away from wafer cookiedom.
That mischievous filling was so worth the sinkful of pots! It's butterscotch. Caramel's sweet, but in a Lolita-like way, cousin. It's the perfect, soft companion to the brooding chocolate cookies that surround it.
I wrote out the following recipe correctly. My filling lacked cream, so it never achieved the desired syrupy status whilst cooking. Don't be alarmed if yours looks different. If it looks the same, *phew.* And cheers to the splash of bourbon that's tossed in at the last minute. :)
Butterscotch Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
makes about 24-28 sandwich cookies
for the chocolate cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the butterscotch filling
3/4 cup tightly brown sugar (light or dark)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted butter, divided in half
1 Tablespoon Bourbon
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (if using); Set the bowl aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on med-high until fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine (about 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape the cookie dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Form it into a large ball, and divide it in half. Pat each half into a 6-inch disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one disk of cookie dough from the fridge. If it's too hard for rolling, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Use a lightly floured 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as possible. (I didn't have a 3-inch cookie cutter so I used one that was 2-inches instead.) Place the cookies onto prepared sheets. If you worked fast enough you can re-roll the scraps of dough right away. If it feels too sticky, gather the scraps, wrap, and refrigerate for a few minutes. Repeat with the other dough disk.
Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until they have puffed and the tops look dry. Remove the sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for about 8 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the filling.
Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, salt, heavy cream, and 4 Tablespoons of the butter. Bring the mixture to a gently boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it has reached a boil, increase the heat slightly and, stirring constantly, continue to cook until the mixture turn syrupy (about 2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and let cool until thickened and barely warm to the touch (about 15 minutes).
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter bourbon and confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
Dollop the filling onto half of the cooled cookies and top each with the remaining halves, pressing down gently so that the filling lovingly spreads around the entire cookie.
recipe adapted from Food & Wine