This is our last batch of end-of-the-rotation thank you treats. Why? Because this week we are completing our LASTclinical rotation!! We graduate in almost exactly ONE MONTH, on May 11th! We’re really looking forward to be gainfully employed adults again.
But don’t worry, we have one more delicious treat for this last month. These cookies are soft and almost cake-like, as is typical of Italian cookies made with ricotta, and full of bright citrus flavors. I think they’re just perfect for spring! Light and bright = spring, right? While Pinterest-ing, I kept coming across people saying how they usually “don’t like ricotta cookies because they’re boring.” Is that a thing? Who are you people who don’t like light, fluffy, cake-cookies? The whole point is that they TASTE good right??
Some friends of our were getting together for a Sunday evening get together, nothing fancy, but of course we wanted to bring something tasty. Since it’s technically autumn (even though it’s 85 & humid here in SC), spiced cookies sounded delicious and with chocolate, you can’t go wrong, right? Spiced desserts are fun to make because we get to bake with some of our favorite spices like cardamom & cinnamon. Cardamom is used quite often in Turkish desserts, coffee, and chai, imparting a distinctive aromatic flavor that reminds us of being in Turkey a couple of years ago. Here’s a little piece of culinary trivia: cardamom is the 3rd most expensive spice behind vanilla and saffron.
The cookies themselves aren’t super sweet, but once you put that chocolaty goodness between two of them, lookout, they’ll go fast. Consider baking these and bringing them to Thanksgiving or Christmas, we know they’ll work well for either one. Also, have fun with cookie cutters, especially for holiday cookies. We don’t have any so instead we used the rim of a small wine glass.
Spiced Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ginger
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp allspice
6oz unsalted, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 jar chocolate almond/hazelnut spread (or any other delicious spread you prefer – ie Nutella)
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients, except for sugar (flour through allspice) and set aside.
In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
Next add the vanilla, followed by the 2 egg yolks.
Then slowly, add the dry ingredients.
Once well combined, form into a big ball of dough. Knead briefly, then divide into four equal portions.
Roll each into a ball and then flatten into a pancake, roughly 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (You can refrigerate as a ball, but may need a little longer to cool completely.)
Using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/6th of an inch thick.
Using cookie cutters or the mouth of a glass, cut into individual cookies. [We made fairly small cookies, given that once they were sandwiches, you’d really be eating two cookies! Our were 2 1/4 inches in diameter, but you do you!]
Bake, on a silpat or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, for 7 minutes.
Remove to a drying rack and allow to cool completely.
While cookies are cooling, boil a few cups of water. Remove from heat once boiling and then set the jar of chocolate-almond spread (still in the jar!) into the pot. Don’t submerge the jar entirely! Let it sit for a few minutes until the spread warms a bit and is more easily spreadable.
Once cookies are cooled and spread is warmed, spread a generous dollop of the chocolate almond spread in between two cookies. Set aside to cool again.
Do you have a favorite candy? Everyone does I assume. I have a few, depending on my mood. One of my perennial favorites is a Butterfinger though! There’s something about the delicious, crunchy, peanut-butter and chocolate taste that makes me happy despite the fact that they always get stuck in my teeth! Awhile back I spied a bag of Butterfinger baking pieces on the discount shelf at Kroger – 89¢!! That’s basically free candy in my mind. I’ve been waiting to use them. I sort of made up my own recipe from a sugar cookie based recipe. That’s a little dangerous – as I’ve mentioned, I’m not the best or most frequent baker in the entire world. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Hope there are some other Butterfinger lovers out there who like them!
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups butterfinger pieces (they sell baking butterfinger pieces, or you could smash up whole candy bars)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together butter, sugars, and peanut butter at medium speed (in your stand mixer or in a large glass bowl with a hand mixer).
Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating until well-combined.
In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Slowly add into the mixing bowl until it is all thoroughly mixed together.
Stir in the butterfinger pieces by hand.
Using two teaspoons, drop the cookie dough on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or covered with a silpat or similar.
Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack.
Cool on a wire rack before eating. (Or eat right away because you love warm, gooey, fresh cookies and don’t care if you burn your tongue!)