21 Feb Guilty Pleasures
Ok, I have a confession. I took liberties with someone else’s recipe. I couldn’t stop myself. The thing is, I had been looking at this cookie recipe and I really really wanted to make them only I knew that they would need some tweaks to satisfy my family.
Now this brings us to what is a recipe anyway? I have always approached recipes as suggestions that someone came up with for a group of things that would probably taste good together. The only time I really follow a recipe to the T is usually in baking, which clearly in this case, I have not. Baking is more scientific and things are likely to go wrong if the proportions of leavening agents aren’t exactly correct or you use large eggs when Jumbo are called for.
I love recipes. I love cookbooks. I can spend a whole day reading cookbooks for fun and inspiration, yes, I am that nerd. But what always happens to me when following someone else’s recipe is I usually make little tweaks here and there. This happens because I don’t have all of the ingredients called for so I substitute something or leave something out. Or I know someone I am cooking for doesn’t like a particular ingredient so I look to put something else in that I know they do like. When working from somebody else’s recipe and then changing it to fit your needs you usually say your recipe is adapted from the original recipe. I write my own recipe’s often but I also adapt often, in fact more times than not I am adapting. For me this is the fun of cooking. Just playing around with a recipe and making it my own.
So yesterday I decided to adapt a cookie recipe from 101cookbooks. You can find the original recipe here: Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookie Recipe
I didn’t change much, just made a few tweaks. The original recipe calls for poppy seeds in the dough and since my little guy is very particular about what is IN his food, if he sees even a speck of pepper the game is over, I opted to forgo the poppy seeds.
Also I had Nutella and Carmel on hand and my mom gave me some fancy sea salts for Christmas so I devised my filling out of a combination of those. To say it was a good combo is an understatement.
I loved these cookies. My son loved these cookies. And I felt a little less guilty because I used whole wheat pastry flour so they felt healthier.
Have fun with these and try any filling combo you can think.
Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookie Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson at 101Cookbooks
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used Plugra)
2/3 cup good-quality brown sugar / natural cane sugar ( I used Light Muscavado)
2 large egg yolks-Use large eggs not Jumbo’s or extra large
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon big flaky sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
Special equipment: a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 350 – racks in the top 1/3 of the oven.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the sugar and mix some more, scraping the sides of the bowl once along the way. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again if needed. Being careful not to over-mix, stir in the flour mixture by hand. If the dough is on the dry side stir in the milk as well. Turn the dough out onto the counter-top, kneed it once or twice (just so it comes together) and form one large ball. Cut the dough into four quarters, then shape each piece into a ball. Flatten each of the four balls into 1/2-inch thick pancakes, and wrap each piece individually in plastic before chilling in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.
Roll out the dough thin as can be on a lightly floured surface – wafer thin, about 1/8-inch, and stamp out using the cookie cutter. Arrange cookies 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets before sprinkling with a small pinch of salt and sugar. Bake for about seven minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet or until the cookie edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.
When you are ready to assemble the cookies, spread about 1/4 teaspoon of Nutella onto the center of the flat side of one cookie and 1/4 teaspoon Carmel on the other side. Sprinkle the Carmel side with Sea Salt. Top with another cookie – matching flat side to flat side. Repeat with the remaining cookies, setting them aside to let the filling set.
Makes 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch sandwich cookies.