Monday, February 6, 2012

Chocolate and Bergamot Cookie Sandwiches



To be honest, these cookies did not start as the deep dark chocolate sandwiches that they eventually became. I had been hemming and hawing about what to do with my very first bergamot for awhile and when I finally decided that some powdered sugar tea cookies would be the way to go, my plan hit a little snag I like to call, "not really reading the recipe before cooking." Rookie mistake. I had my butter and sugar creaming in the mixer and I opened the pantry to find myself undeniably short on flour. So, I grabbed my trusty Callebaut cocoa powder and a little cornstarch, upped the salt and squeezed in some bergamot juice and turned these cookies into a chocolate and citrus pairing. I am normally not a fan of chocolate and fruit together, so I decided to up the chocolate flavor by sandwiching the cookies with a bit of melted chocolate and it worked perfectly to mellow the acid in the fruit. That said, if you don't feel like taking the time to make cookie sandwiches, don't! The cookies bake up crisp and tasty on their own and they are perfect with a nice hot cup of earl grey.

Chocolate and Bergamot Sandwiches
yield about 15 cookie sandwiches

1c softened butter
3/4c powdered sugar
1t vanilla extract
zest of one bergamot orange
2T bergamot orange juice
1 1/2c flour
1/2c cocoa powder
2T cornstarch
3/4t salt
2T cacao nibs (optional)
6oz chocolate to fill the cookie sandwiches

1. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Set aside
2. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and zest in a medium bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, then stir in the bergamot juice.
3. Add in the flour mixture and the cacao nibs and stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30min before rolling. While the dough is chilling preheat your oven to 350º.
4. Remove half of the dough from the fridge and roll out on a well floured surface or between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper, the dough should be between 1/4''-1/8'' thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on lined baking sheets. If your dough has warmed up a bit, chill the cut cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before baking. Repeat with the other half of the dough and make sure to save and re roll the scraps. Bake for 12-15min, rotating the pans half way through the cooking time, until the cookies appear completely dry and are firm to the touch.
5. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10min, then remove to a rack to cool completely. The cookies should be crisp when done. If you find your cookies are a bit soft and crumbly put them back in the oven for a few minutes until they are baked all of the way through.

To Fill the Cookie Sandwiches

1. Turn half of the cookies over to expose the smooth underside.
2. Chop the chocolate very finely and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave. Let the chocolate cool until it is the consistency of mayonaise, about 15min, then use a spoon or pastry bag to fill each cookie with about 1t of chocolate. Top each chocolate topped cookie with another cookie, smooth side down and press gently. Let the chocolate harden completely before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes:

-Bergamot is the floral, citrus flavor used in earl grey tea.
- If you find that the bergamot flavor is too strong, let the cookies sit for a day or so. The flavors mellow and blend really nicely.
- I haven't tried yet, but I think these chocolate cookies would make an excellent homemade oreo base.
- If you can't find bergamots in your area you can substitute an orange zest and juice.

13 comments:

  1. I've always had a problem with the citrus and chocolate combo, but it's been growing on me lately. Your cookies look just lovely, and are definitely a nice treat for afternoon tea.

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  2. Ah, sitting down to a bergamot cookie with some tea sounds like a lazy afternoon I can totally get behind. Unfortunately, I am bergamot-less and it's a work monday: not a lazy afternoon(!). At least there is still tea ...

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  3. Beautiful, inspiring and lovely as always!

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  4. Wow. These cookies look incredible! I love the combination of flavors here. Yum!

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  5. Wow!! Those cookies look absolutely gorgeous!!! Loved your photos too!

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  6. First, I'm surprised when i looked up what a bergamot is. I never knew such thing exists. Or at least it's name is as such. I've always called it that "lemon orange marriage thingy". your cookies look divine. Bet they taste awesome.

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  7. TEA COOKIES! Adorbs. This makes me want to go buy a special teacup that's cute enough to pair with these wee bites.
    p.s. I've always thought that was orange peel in the earl grey tea bags! Who knew.

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  8. Really gorgeous, Yossy. I'm a lover of the citrus/chocolate pairing, so these are kinda irresistible!

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  9. I'm sorry I just have to comment again, these are killing me with their cuteness. How did you make the filling look so perfect and not squishing out everywhere? Do you use a tiny spoon to measure it out? So lovely.

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  10. Making this right now, but I have a question! Is the butter melted or just softened?

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