Yes, I do have a cookie blog, but when I try a new recipe, it will be here in my Bewitching Kitchen site. These cookies are a marriage of Oreos with Linzer, perfect for Valentine’s Day. They have a wonderful peppermint flavor, both in the cookie and the filling. Simply omit if you are not fond of it. I actually modified the filling a bit, because using the hard candy takes it too much into toothpaste-territory for my taste. Check the original recipe, you might prefer to follow that path. Remember, your kitchen, your cookies!

(slightly modified from purewow.com)

for the filling:
1 bag of Moroccan mint tea
½ cup (115g) heavy cream
200g finely chopped white chocolate
Pinch of fine sea salt
pink gel food coloring

for the cookies:
10 tablespoons (142g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
135g granulated sugar
53g brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
240g all-purpose flour
45g black cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
pink sanding sugar to decorate

Place the tea bag and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat until simmering, close the pan and let it infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, squeezing it hard. Re-heat the cream and when it is almost boiling, add to a bowl with the white chocolate, together with a pinch of salt. Let sit for a minute, then stir gently until fully dissolved. Add a tiny drop of pink gel food coloring (optional). Transfer to the fridge for several hours. When ready to use, whip it with a handheld blender but do not over-whip or the ganache might seize up.

Make the cookie dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk; mix well to combine. Thoroughly scrape down the side of the bowl, then add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and mix to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; add to the mixer and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then mix again briefly on low speed to make sure everything is combined. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to overnight).

Heat the oven to 325 F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of dough to ⅛ inch thick. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut the dough and then transfer each round to one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the second disk of dough. Use a mini cookie cutter to cut a shape from the center of each cookie on the second tray; remove the cutouts. Bake until the cookies are set at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the trays between racks halfway through baking. Cool completely.

Assemble the cookies: Flip the cookies without cutouts over, then pipe the filling into the center of each cookie, leaving a ¼-inch border. Place one of the cookies with a cutout on top and press down slightly until the filling reaches the edge of the cookies. Sprinkle sanding sugar on the opening. Let set for 30 minutes before serving. They keep well at room temperature for several days.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I used a small heart-shape cutter for the opening. You can use a simple round or another shape of your choice. I recommend using black cocoa if you really want to take those into the Oreo world. And the peppermint flavor was a nice twist. I visualize those with a Christmas aura, making the center as a round, or a star-shape and using red, white, and green non-pareils to decorate the center.

The cookie itself is very flavorful and I baked some in small little rounds, then decorated the top with dots of Royal icing I had leftover from another cookie adventure. That is of course totally optional, but oh so very cute, right?

If you like Oreos, I hope you give this version a try.

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Do you know Anna Olson? I don’t remember how I got hooked into her shows, but I think it was one of those suggestions that pop in the amazon page. At any rate, she is big on Canadian Food TV. As far as I can tell, the Canadian food TV is far superior to our own. I watched every single episode I could find online. Basically a full season of “Sugar“, and a full season of “Baking with Anna Olson.”  They are organized by ingredient (chocolate, blueberries, pecans),  or basic component (say, pastry cream, or pie dough), and she usually shares three recipes with increasing level of difficulty.  I like her a lot. She is the type of baker who is clearly talented, but also down to Earth. Some professional bakers make you think that unless you can find the vanilla bean harvested on the Sava region of Madagascar under a moon 100% full, please don’t bother making the recipe. Not the case with Anna. You’ll feel less constrained and even encouraged to try something a little different. Sometimes she might even have a little powdered sugar flying moment in her KitchenAid, which in my mind just makes her even more special.  Of course, that type of moment is not a rare event in the Bewitching Kitchen, quite the opposite (sigh). When I watched her show on apricots, I knew I had to try her Linzer version. I am glad I did…

(from Anna Olson)

for filling:
2 cups fresh apricot, washed and pitted
⅔ cup apricot jam
¼ cup sugar
zest of one orange

for dough:
3 hard-boiled egg yolks
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup icing sugar
dash of vanilla extract
½ cup ground hazelnuts, lightly toasted
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water

Cook all ingredients for the filling in a big saucepan until apricots are tender. Remove from heat, puree and cool completely before using.

Push cooked egg yolks through a sieve and set aside. Cream together butter and icing sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Add hazelnuts and cooked egg yolks and blend in. Sift together salt, baking powder and flour and add to butter mixture. Blend until dough comes together (it will be quite soft). Divide dough into 2 discs, wrap and chill for at least one hour, until firm.

Heat oven to 350 F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough to 3/4- inch thick. Using the bottom of a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan as your template, cut out a disc of pastry. Repeat this with the second disc of pastry.

Using the tart pan bottom as a lifter, transfer the first disc of pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the apricot filling over the entire surface of the dough. If the dough is very soft, I like to flash it in the freezer for 5 minutes, to make spreading the filling easier.

Using a 3/4 -inch round cutter cut decorative circles around the dough. Use a slightly smaller cutter to make a second series of smaller openings. While still on the cutting board, brush the top of the disc generously with egg wash. Place gently on top of apricot filling. Place ring of a springform pan around torte to help it hold shape while cooking.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a rich golden brown in colour. Allow to cool before cutting. If desired, sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: It was a lot of fun to make this recipe, it is a real soft though, and I decided to roll it out in between two sheets of parchment paper. Works much better for me that way. The filling is delicious, I had to hold myself back not to use it in macarons next day, it would be great added to some chocolate ganache, I think. Apricot and chocolate are a match made in heaven.

The dough is on the crumbly side as expected for a Linzer concoction. Her use of hazelnuts instead of almonds makes it quite unique and special. Everyone in the department loved this little treat, which brightened up one very summery Monday.

Make Sally happy, grab a pin!


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