Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Chocolate cookies sandwiched with peppermint buttercream
"Gobs" is such an ugly word. But the cookie called by any other name is just as sweet. And if you get the commercially made ones...you know, spelled Gobz and sold at Sheetz convenience stores...they taste like nothing but sweet. These, ahem, chocolate-peppermint sandwich cookies I started making last year have distinct flavors besides just sweet. And the texture of the cookie is distinctly chewy and crackly compared to the soft creaminess of the buttercream filling. Divine.
I recommend using more schnapps than milk when thinning the frosting for optimum punchiness. I prefer King Leo peppermint sticks for the same reason, plus they crunch up better, but I couldn't find them this year and had to settle for some generic bulk candies that are just OK. It's OK if the frosting is a little stiffer than you'd use on a cake because you are not spreading it, it's a filling and you want it to be able to hold up the weight of the top cookie.
DEVIL'S FOOD COOKIES
1 18.25-ounce package devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened plus 2 Tablespoons oil OR 1/2 cup oil (which is what I used and I haven't tried it the other way yet)
Mix the cake mix, oil and eggs. Batter will be thick.
Scoop the batter in small amounts onto a cookie sheet and slightly press the tops to help them spread as they bake. Aim to get the cookies all the same size.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Try to make sure you have an even number of chocolate cookies. If you have an odd cookie, you'll just have to use it to scrape the frosting bowl when you're finished filling the other cookies. And eat it. Poor you.
PEPPERMINT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
From "The Cake Mix Doctor" (Workman Publishing Co., 1999)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely crushed peppermint candy (about 7 peppermint sticks) -- note these are powdery sticks that crumble not brittle candy canes that shatter into shards
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons milk
1-2 tablespoons peppermint schnapps or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the peppermint candy, confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy, 1 minute more. Blend in up to 1 tablespoon milk or peppermint schnapps if the frosting seems too stiff.
Turn half the cooled cookies over on the wire rack. Start dividing the peppermint buttercream evenly among the flipped cookies. I can't remember if I made half a recipe of frosting the first time I made these...seems to me I did...but this time I made the whole batch and a little was left in the bowl when I had maxed out the cookies. The husband didn't mind a bit.