Sunday, July 22, 2012

chocolate covered jam sandwich cookies.

Arthur Ave in the Bronx is one of my favorite streets in the world.  Going there is kind of like time traveling to a different era when bakeries and butchers where the norm on every street.  I love strolling down the block and loading up my bags with fresh pastas, blocks of parmesan, Italian sausages, and loaves of warm bread.  After spending the afternoon shopping my favorite thing to do is stop at the old school Italian bakery for a cannoli and a box of assorted Italian butter cookies.  Of all the Italian butter cookies the one I always look to eat first is the jam sandwich cookie dipped in chocolate.  It’s a wonderful cookie.

The jam sandwich cookie is my favorite because it encompasses lots of different flavors and textures.  The cookie is buttery and crumbly, the jam is sweet and tart, and the chocolate is rich giving the whole cookie an indulgent feel.  I recently came across a recipe for a homemade version of these cookies and jumped at the chance to make them (especially since we finally had a break from the summer heat!).  The cookies were a fancier and more delicious version of the original.  I used homemade jam since we have a plethora of it in the fridge (and used a variety of flavors since I love options!) and dipped the cookies in a rich dark chocolate ganache.  They made a wonderful afternoon snack with a cup of espresso - how Italian!

Chocolate Covered Jam Sandwich Cookies
Recipe from Desserts for Breakfast (Her blog has the most beautiful photos ever!)

Makes 20-24 cookies

1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
12 + 1 tablespoon butter softened
¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
¼ cup (28 grams) powdered sugar
1 egg
Jam or marmalade (I used strawberry, rhubarb, and cherry!)
89 grams (3 oz) dark chocolate
89 grams (3 oz heavy cream)

Combine the baking powder, salt, and flour in a bowl.  Set aside.  In a mixer, cream 12 tablespoons of butter for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugars and continue to beat for a few minutes more.  Add the egg and beat well.  Add the flour mixture in three stages, mixing just until combined.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Prepare baking sheets line with parchment paper or silpats.  Roll out the cold dough on a lightly floured surface to a ½ inch thickness.  Using a 1 ¾ to 2 inch cookie cutter, cut out small rounds.  Reroll the leftover dough and continue to cut out cookies.  Place cookies on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 10n minutes if the dough is no longer cold.  Bake each sheet for 15 minutes, rotating once half-way through the baking time.  Cookies are done with the edges begin to turn golden.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

To assemble, spread a small amount of jam on a cookie and sandwich with another one.  Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a bowl.  Combine the heave cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and pour on top of the chocolate.  Let sit for a minute, and then whisk until smooth.  Dip the cookies in the chocolate ganache, shaking gently to remove the excess, and let dry on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat for at least 2 hours or until the ganche as firmed up and is no longer liquid.

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