WHEN OREOS FALL IN LOVE

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!

CHOCOLATE-PEPPERMINT 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.

ENJOY!

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.

ONE YEAR AGO: Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes in Tomato Cardamon Sauce

TWO YEARS AGO: Sweet Potatoes in Tahini Sauce

THREE YEARS AGO: 30-Hour Leg of Lamb with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

FOUR YEARS AGO: Maple-Grilled Pork Tenderloin over Lemony Zucchini

FIVE YEARS AGO: Danish Rye Bread

SIX YEARS AGO: The Best Sourdough Recipe

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Mini-Quiches with Duxelles and Baby Broccoli

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes

NINE YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Bolo de Fuba’ Cremoso

TEN YEARS AGO: Citrus-crusted Tilapia Filets

ELEVEN YEARS AGO: Bran Muffins, not just for Hippies

TWELVE YEARS AGO: Flourless Chocolate Cake

MACARONS FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON


One recipe, two colors, four different ways to decorate, from simple to a little more time-consuming. It is definitely the reason why I adore macarons. You can dress them up for party or keep them simple, and play with filling flavors that match any season. For these Christmas-inspired versions, I filled some with raspberry jam and others with white chocolate-mint ganache.

CHRISTMAS MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, adapted from Colette Christian)

for the shells:
200 g powdered sugar
115 g almond meal
115 g egg whites at room temperature
a pinch of cream of tartar
100 g granulated sugar
Red or Green gel color from Artisan Accents
1/4 tsp vanilla paste

for the filling:
Raspberry jam
or
240g white chocolate, chopped
5 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 to 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/8 cup mini mint chocolate chips (optional)

to decorate:
white candy melts
red food color
gold dust dissolved in lemon extract or vodka
sprinkles of your choice
or
Royal Icing:
40 g egg whites
210 g powdered sugar
lemon juice

Line 2 or 3 heavy baking sheets with Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar and almond meal in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal, about 15 seconds. Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.

Place the egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are impeccably clean. Starting on medium speed, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until they look like light foam. The whites should not appear liquid. The foam will be light and should not have any structure.

Slowly rain in the granulated sugar, trying to aim the stream between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Turn the speed up to medium-high. Continue to whip the meringue until it is soft and shiny. It should look like marshmallow creme. Add the gel color and the vanilla. Staying at medium-high speed, whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to dull and the lines of the whisk are visible on the surface of the meringue. Check the peak. It should be firm. Transfer the whites to a medium bowl.

Fold in the almond meal mixture in three increments. Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, using the flat side of a spatula. Scrape the mixture down to the center of the bowl. Repeat two or three times, then check to see if the mixture slides slowly down the side of the bowl. Put the mixture in a piping bag fitted with one of the tips listed above. Pipe on the prepared baking sheets.

Slam each sheet hard four to six times on the counter. Let the unbaked macarons dry until they look dull, 30 to 40 minutes.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 300 F.  Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack. Check in 11 minutes. If the tops slide, then bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. Let the macaroons cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Make the filling:  Melt the white chocolate with the mint chips (if using) in a double boiler or microwave, very gently. Add the heavy cream and stir until smooth. Add the peppermint extract. Allow it to cool to almost room temperature and whisk with a hand-held mixer to achieve piping consistency. Do not over-whip or the ganache will go grainy. Use to fill shells.

Decorate with melted Candy melts and sprinkles. For the brush effect, use a fan brush on a mixture of gold dust with lemon extract. To make the Royal Icing mix all ingredients in a Kitchen Aid type mixer for 5 minutes, adjust consistency with lemon juice or powdered sugar.

Store macarons in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


These shells were decorated with Royal Icing using either a very fine piping tip (Wilton number 1), or a slightly bigger tip (Wilton number 3). Sanding sugar was sprinkled on some macarons while still wet and allowed to dry.  They were filled with White Chocolate Ganache, and tasted amazing!


The filling for this batch was a simple, store-bought raspberry jam, decorated with white candy melts dyed red.

Raspberry Jam filling once again, with a drizzle of white candy melts and sprinkles…

They really make it for a nice, festive presentation that screams Christmas! I made them when I had a special interview at home for our evening news… If you’d like to see it, click here


But the simplest of all to decorate might be one of my favorites… I love the contrast of gold with green… Red and gold could be wonderful too, I might bake another batch before saying goodbye to 2019.

ONE YEAR AGO: Apple and Sobacha Caramel Dome Cake 

TWO YEARS AGO: White Chocolate Peppermint Macarons (serendipity?)

THREE YEARS AGO: Shrubs, a fun alternative to alcoholic drinks

FOUR YEARS AGO: Date Truffles 

FIVE YEARS AGO: Mascarpone Mousse from Baking Chez Moi

SIX YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Brigadeiros

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pumpkin Espresso Loaf

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Caramelized Carrot Soup

NINE YEARS AGO: Miso-Grilled Shrimp

TEN YEARS AGO: A Special Holiday Fruitcake