Monday, October 31, 2011

Bakin' Stuff - Sandwich Cookies

This fall, well really the last few weeks, I've been hooked on sandwich cookies.  I made some last at least a year ago...they are just so much more time consuming than regular cookies I didn't make them again until about 10 days ago...and then I remembered how yummy they are.  I first remade the ones from last year: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies, filled with peanut butter cream and dipped in dark chocolate.

Then I got to thinking.  What other kind of sandwich cookie could I make?  It's fall, so I thought pumpkin.  That got me thinking about this Gingersnap Pumpkin Cream Pie I've made a few times and so I thought why not try a ginger cookie with pumpkin cream filling.  So, I hunted around for a good ginger cookie recipe.  I finally settled on one that I had made a few years ago and deemed good, but kind of blah.  So I baked them up, discovering that I needed to not flatten them before baking if I wanted a slightly more textured (and more attractive) outside.  Then I tried to make pumpkin cream following the same recipe I used in the peanut butter cookies, but subbing pumpkin for peanut butter.  The problem I had was that pumpkin is much softer than PB, so I had to add a lot more powdered sugar to get it thick enough.  I also added some vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and then said, well, let's give it a go.  I made half the cookies into sandwiches (figuring I should leave some plain in case they were a disaster) and put them in the fridge to get the filling to firm up.  Philip and Caleb tried one a few hours later after dinner and both of them went nuts.  Bear in mind, Philip is NOT a cookie person at all.  I made up the other half and put them in the fridge.  I brought some to a get together the next day and everyone went crazy for them, so I guess I am onto something with the combo.

Sorry, forgot to take a picture until there was one measly cookie left.  This is one of the ones I flattened before cooking and doesn't have as nice of a texture.

SO, if you're also hankerin' for sandwich cookies, here are the recipes I used.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies:
I made the following changes: I used slightly more flour, old fashioned oats and flattened with a glass immediately after removing from the oven.  I also made them much smaller.  Using a regular sized cookie scoop you will yield about 40 cookies.  I felt like that size made the cookie too much once filled and dipped, so I used a tiny scoop and got 65-70 cookies.  I found that 1/2 a recipe of the filling was sufficient.  I used a melted dark chocolate chip (ghiradelli) for the dipping.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies:
I made the following changes: I added 50% more spice and used butter, not margarine. I also used 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar.  I froze the dough for 30 minutes before baking.  Again, I used the tiny scoop and I think I got about 60 cookies.  I rolled them in sugar prior to baking...I think next time I'll use a larger grain sugar, not just regular white.  I cooked them on parchment paper and flattened slightly immediately after removing from the oven.  I allowed them to cool on the parchment paper for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then slide the paper onto the counter top to continue cooling.  This helps lock in the moisture.  To make the filling, I used something along these lines:  1/3-1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 1.5 Tablespoon softened butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (guessing on this, just add until it tastes like spices!), maybe 2 Tablespoons of whipping cream and maybe a 1/2 teaspoon or so of vanilla.  This will firm up in the fridge, so you can cool first, or use as is, then refrigerate the cookies.

Good luck!  Let me know if you make them!

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