Just reread that last paragraph and realized that my guilty pleasure for reality TV has been exposed. Not all reality TV though. Only shows that showcase actual skill or talent, such as Top Chef and Project Runway. The less drama and conflict between the contestants, the more I love it. Have any of you caught Masterchef Australia? Completely addictive.
The cookies are a simple shortbread dough, using unsalted butter, icing sugar, all-purpose flour, salt and a bit of maple extract. Do yourself a favour and roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper as soon as you make it. Then chill the sheet of dough.Cut out shapes from chilled dough. If you want to get really fancy, you can draw the veining of the leaf with the tip of a paring knife. Or, if like me, your drawing talents suck, invest in one of these fondant cutters. It works best if you let the dough soften up a bit before you try to stamp the vein imprint on the cookie. Before baking, I sprinkled each cookie with coarse sanding sugar and just a touch of flaky sea salt. The filling for the sandwich cookies is made from unsalted butter, icing sugar and maple butter. I have tried a few different brands of maple butter and they were all pretty amazing. This one is from Vermont, this one is from Quebec. If maple is your jam, these cookies are for you. The maple flavour is intense and rich. They are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.
I’m not going to lie. One of the reasons I wanted to make these cookies was that they gave me an excuse to buy one of these. I have always wanted a pastry docker. They look like so much fun to use. Of course the docker is not mandatory. You can always poke the dough with a fork to prevent it from puffing up. But a docker is so much more amusing. Plus, it doubles as a great back scratcher. The recipe for these comes from the brilliant mind of cookie wizard, Mindy Segal. I wrote about her book, “Cookie Love”, a few weeks ago.
I strongly urge you to bake these cookies very soon. My lame-ass description of these cookies can’t possibly live up to just how delicious they are. A filling of caramelized white chocolate buttercream and raspberry jam is sandwiched between two smoked almond shortbread cookies. To further embellish them, Mindy asks us to dip them into bittersweet chocolate. I have learned to do exactly what Mindy tells me to. She has yet to lead me astray. If you are a passionate cookie person, you owe it to yourself, and your loved ones, to make these cookies. Admittedly, in typical Mindy style, there are a few recipes required to produce these cookies, but you can spread the work out over 2 days if you like.
Start with the dough. You will need to grind salted smoked almonds with some all purpose flour in the food processor.Do yourself a favour and roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper while the dough is still soft. Then, chill dough and cut into shapes.I drew a rectangle on my parchment paper, so I would know exactly how much to roll it out. The caramelized white chocolate filling begins with roasting good quality white chocolate in the oven for about 20 minutes. Give it a stir and continue roasting and stirring until it looks like peanut butter. You can buy caramelized white chocolate if you wish to save some time. About 1/4 cup of the caramelized white chocolate is incorporated into a butter and icing sugar frosting. To make your life easier, put frosting into a piping bag, fitted with a round tip. Mindy also gives a recipe for making your own raspberry preserves, but I decided to use a good quality store bought raspberry jam.
Start by piping a W on half the cookies. Dollop on a scant spoonful of raspberry jam and swirl with the buttercream. Top each frosted cookie with a lid and chill just until filling firms up. Then dip in chocolate and chill to set the chocolate.