|An Elfwich Kind of Cookie|
While I was growing up, I was lucky to have a mom who baked homemade pound cakes, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry bars, and apple slices. Upon coming home from school, I would switch on the television to an episode of Gilligan's Island and munch on freshly baked cookies with a cold glass of milk. I thought this was how every kid spent their time after school.
Then I got invited over to the neighbor's house to play with the little girl who was my age. She asked if I wanted a snack and of course I did. She opened the pantry, and I could not believe my eyes. It was stocked with barbecue potato chips, Cheetos, french onion potato chips, Pringles, Coke, Pepsi, pretzels, and Oreos. Every junk food imaginable filled the six foot wide pantry.
At my house, my Dad did the grocery shopping every 2 weeks. He would buy 1 box of Jays Potato Chips, an 8 bottle pack of Coke, and a box of Nabisco Nilla Wafers. When our "stash" of junk food was devoured by the six kids in my family, we would have to wait another 2 weeks until it was restocked. Of course we had my Mom's strawberry pie or creamy rice pudding. I did not know how good I had it at my home because I was blinded by the "Pantry of Junk Food" at my friend's house.
I have adopted my Mom's need to bake, and there is rarely a day when we do not have Biggie Chocoholic Cookies, Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Bars, or a Blueberry Crostada on the counter. My kids do love the homemade baked goods but, are forever grateful when I infrequently pick up a package of Toaster Strudel or Nutter Butter cookies. There is some guilt thing that kicks in when I reach for a packaged bake good. My conscious always tells me that I should make it myself.
One treat that I would occasionally manage to sneak into my Dad's shopping cart would be a package of Keebler E.L. Fudge cookies. I loved the buttery cookies that sandwiched the chocolate fudge filling. With the help of a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, I made my own version of the Elf-like cookie. It takes more time to make these melt-in-your mouth delights then just picking them up at the grocery store, but they are well worth effort.
The only problem with making this cookie is that it takes two cookies to make one sandwich cookie. Next time I will make a double batch.
An Elfwich Kind of Cookie
adapted from the recipe for Rosemary Butter Cookies in Martha Stewart's Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
for the fudge filling -
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on medium speed until pale and light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until combined.
Divide the dough in halve and form into a rectangular shaped log about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches. Roll in parchment paper and chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. remove the cookie logs from the refrigerator and remove parchment paper. Cut into 1/4 inch slices and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges are slightly golden brown, about 12 - 14 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks.
To make fudge filling, in a small saucepan combine the butter, cocoa, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Put filling in a bowl and cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
To assemble cookies, remove the filling from the refrigerator and stir. If it is too stiff to spread on the cookies, let it sit out for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When filling is spreadable, place a rounded teaspoonful on one of the cookies and top with another cookie forming a sandwich. Continue spreading the filling on the rest of the cookies until all the sandwich cookies are made.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 - 4 days.