Sweet Sundays: One of the benefits of knowing a famous dessert cookbook author is receiving incredibly delicious sweets around the holidays. An adorable bundle of these seasonal cookies arrived on my doorstep just days before Christmas last year. Of course, they didn't quite make it to the holiday, being devoured in less than 24 hours.
Thanks to many pleas from Hannah's gift recipients, I have the recipe for these delightfully addicting cookies to share with you this year, just in time for your own holiday baking …
"The classic combo of chocolate and peppermint is an easy crowd pleaser, the crisp but still soft cocoa cookies yielding to a creamy, lightly minted filling, riddled with crunchy pieces of smashed candy canes.
It’s the sort of staple that you just can’t go wrong with, whether you give them as holiday presents, or whip up a batch later in the year to serve in the middle of summer. They do, by the way, taste fantastic straight out of the freezer, cold and refreshing, so don’t think you can safely “hide” them in there for too long."
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with a Candy Cane Creme Filling
Chocolate Spritz Cookies
2 Cups Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 6-Ounce Container Vanilla Soy or Coconut Yogurt
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Candy Cane Filling:
1/2 Cup Margarine, Softened
1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
4 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
4 Ounces Smashed Candy Canes or Starlight Mints
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheet with silpats or parchment paper. Set aside.
In your stand mixer, thoroughly cream together the shortening and sugar, so that the mixture is homogeneous. Add in the soy or coconut yogurt and vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and cream that in as well.
In a different large bowl, whisk together all of the remaining dry goods for the cookies so that all of the ingredients are well-distributed throughout the mixture, and slowly add them to the stand mixer, incorporating them in 2 or 3 separate additions. The resulting batter with be very thick, and it may seem like it’s not going to come together, but just be patient; Do not, under and circumstances, add any extra liquid!
Once you achieve a cohesive dough, place a few mounds of it into your spritz cookie gun, which should already have the design you desired installed. Squeeze out cookies as directed by the manufacturer of the gun, reload when you run out of dough, and repeat. Once you use all of the batter and have your cookie sheets filled, place them in the oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until no long “wet” looking on top and the cookies look solid. It’s hard to tell when they’re done since the cookies are so dark to begin with, but make sure you never bake them longer than 10 minutes or else they’ll taste burnt.
Let the cookies cool on the sheets for at least 10 minutes, and then completely on a wire rack before filling.
To make the filling, simply whip together the margarine and shortening in your stand mixer until smooth. Add in the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and crushed mints, start the machine on a slow speed so as not to send sugar flying out, and gradually mix to incorporate. Once there’s no longer a risk of sending ingredients out onto the walls, turn up the speed to high and beat for about 5 minutes, until smooth, creamy, and fluffy. Apply to cookies as desired, sandwiching two together to finish.
Makes about 80 Chocolate Cookies; 40 Sandwich Cookies