~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies... or Banana Chocolate Chip Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies... or Banana Chocolate Chip Sandwiches. I've had this recipe bookmarked for some time now... recently decided to make it as I had some free baking time on my hands:). Photos aren't the best... winter is here. But the cookie and idea is worth mentioning.
The recipe is originally from Craft( New York) restaurant's pastry chef, Jennifer McCoy... who does a unique adaptation of the classic chocolate chip cookie. They aren't a "real" chocolate chip cookie... but more of a simple shortbread-like cookie that's studded with chocolate chips and sandwiched with fresh banana slices. A fun little cookie that goes quite well with bananas... or if you like, left simply as shortbread cookies. If you want to be creative, sandwich the cookies with other fillings.
I love how the cookie maintains its shape quite well... so it lends itself to being made in different shapes. Square cookies are rather nice...., but you can make other shapes, such as hearts, stars, triangles, etc. I have to mention an important point I noticed when making these cookies.... the original recipe has you bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. I found out that it wasn't nearly enough time to lightly brown them, especially since they are baked frozen. Yet, the cookies shouldn't be too dry as normal shortbread cookies(which normally get baked for 20 minutes)... so adjust time and remove when bottoms of cookies are just lightly browned. You want the cookies to still be soft-ish so it melds with the banana slice. But it's up to you...bake longer if you want crispy cookies or less for soft cookies. Just thought to mention it. Hope you enjoy...

Note: Original recipe uses 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, but I like to use a bit more. Personally love the vanilla flavor to stand out. Feel free to adjust amount to taste. Also the recipe doesn't say what to do with the cookie scraps, so I rolled them into balls, added some chopped pecans, and baked a bit longer. A different cookie that reminded me of mexican wedding cookies. Loved them.
Tip: Use a sharp cookie cutter...it helps to cut through the chocolate chips cleanly.

You will need: make about 30 (1 1/4 inch) sandwich cookies ~adapted from iVillage and originally from the cookbook One Sweet Cookie.

1½ sticks(6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
1 ½-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips( mini preferred, but I used regular)
6 medium-ripe bananas, sliced (optional)

Additional(for cookie scraps):
1/3 cup pecans( optional, only if making the cookie balls from the scraps)

1. Mix flour and salt. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter with the sugars and vanilla extract on medium speed... until light and fluffy. 3. Lower speed and slowly add in the flour and salt. Continue to mix until well incorporated. It will be sort of crumbly.
4. Slowly stir in the chocolate chips and continue to stir for about 1 minute.
5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead a bit until the dough comes together.

6. Place dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.( if using mini chips, you'll probably be able get it thin enough.. if using the regular chips, it will be a bit harder to roll out to an even 1/4 inch thick... just try to roll it out as thin as you can)
7. Remove the top layer of parchment, cut dough using a 1¼-inch round cookie cutter( mine was closer to 2 inches)... or any shape you like. If making the cookies to sandwich banana slices you want the cookie to be as close to the size of the banana. Remove scraps and re-roll or mix in 1/3 chopped pecans and form into 1 inch balls.
8. Place cutouts(and scrap balls) on a pan and place in the freezer to chill for about 1 hour. (The dough can be prepared several days in advance, if you like.)

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

9. Line cookie sheet pans with parchment paper.

10 Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Arrange the rounds on the prepared pans, ½ inch apart.
11. Bake for 8-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.... this depends on how thin or thick you've rolled out your dough. I found out that mine took a bit longer than 8-10 minutes as per original recipe...so therefore the range. The longer you bake, the drier the cookie.
(Bake scrap balls for a bit longer....maybe an additional 5 minutes or so. I wanted them to be a bit drier... sort of like the mexican wedding cookies.... dust( or roll) with sugar while still warm)
12. Cool completely on wire racks.

The cookies are wonderful as is... or per original recipe... sandwiched with fresh banana slices.

13. Peel and cut the bananas into ½-inch-thick slices and sandwich each one between two chocolate chip cookies. Serve immediately.

No comments: