This recipe is from the book Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
WHY THIS RECIPE MAKES MINDY HAPPY: This is special because the technique for this recipe happened by mistake. It was a happy surprise that you could create this beautiful marble in a cookie, and the combination of hazelnut chocolate and coffee with the addition of toffee, well, you gotta just try the cookie! It will make anyone smile!
COFFEE WITH CREAM IS the inspiration for this sandwich cookie. And yes, I am using instant-coffee crystals in this shortbread. When you add coffee crystals to shortbread, the crystals partially melt into the dough, giving it this gorgeous marbling effect and undeniable coffee flavor. I also take a cue from the sugar packets served with coffee and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top before baking. Gianduja gives the frosting a Nutella accent. In a pinch, you can substitute 5 ounces of 64% cacao bittersweet chocolate plus 5 ounces of milk chocolate for the gianduja.
Folgers instant-coffee crystals are made by freeze-drying coffee. You may try other freeze-dried coffee brands, but do not use powdered instant coffee—it will not react with the dough in the same way. When rolling, the dough needs to be pliable but fairly cold. If it gets too warm, the crystals dissolve, causing the dough to lose its marbling effect and turn the color of coffee. If you notice this is happening, refrigerate the dough until chilled and then try again.
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makes approximately 28 sandwich cookies
1 1⁄2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (13 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
A scant 1⁄4 cup instant- coffee crystals (such as Folgers)
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1⁄2 cup sour cream
10 ounces gianduja, melted
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup crushed Toffee (see below)
8 ounces gianduja or dark milk chocolate (preferably 53% cacao), melted
TOFFEE (makes approximately 11⁄2 cups of chopped pieces)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
21⁄4 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Make the Shortbread In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed to incorporate. Increase the speed to medium and cream the butter mixture until it is aerated and looks like frosting, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together.
- Put the yolks in a small cup or bowl and add the vanilla.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salts, and coffee crystals.
- On medium speed, add the yolks, one at a time, and mix until the batter resembles cottage cheese, approximately 5 seconds for each yolk. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the batter together. Mix on medium speed for 20 to 30 seconds to make nearly homogeneous.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together but still looks shaggy, approxi- mately 1 minute. Do not overmix. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a plastic bench scraper, bring the dough completely together by hand. Stretch two sheets of plastic wrap on a work surface. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of the plastic wrap. Pat each half into a rectangle, wrap tightly, and refrigerate until chilled throughout, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
- Let the dough halves sit at room temperature until the dough has warmed up some but is still cool to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Put a sheet of parchment paper the same dimensions as a half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan on the work surface and dust lightly with flour. Put one dough half on top.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough half into a rectangle approximately 11 by 13 inches and 1⁄4 inch thick or slightly under. If the edges become uneven, push a bench scraper against the dough to straighten out the sides. To keep the dough from sticking to the parchment paper, dust the top with flour, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and, sandwiching the dough between both sheets of parch- ment paper, flip the dough and paper over. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and continue to roll.
- Roll a dough docker over the dough or pierce it numerous times with a fork. Ease the dough and parchment paper onto a half sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough half and stack it on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and refrigerate the layers until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a couple of half sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Let the dough sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes. Invert the dough onto a work surface and peel off the top sheet of parchment paper. Roll a dough docker over the dough or pierce it numerous times with a fork. Using a 13⁄4 by 21⁄2-inch rectangular cutter, punch out the cookies. Re-roll the dough trimmings, chill, and cut out more cookies.
- Put the shortbread on the prepared half sheet pans, evenly spacing up to 16 cookies per pan. Sprinkle the tops evenly with turbinado sugar.
- Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until the cookies feel firm and hold their shape when touched, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let the cookies cool completely on the sheet pans. Repeat with the remaining pan.
- Frost the Cookies In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter briefly on medium speed for 5 to 10 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until the butter mixture is aerated and pale in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to bring the frosting together. Mix in the sour cream until incorporated, 30 seconds. Fold in the gianduja, salts, and vanilla until incorporated.
- Fit a pastry bag with the Ateco tip #804 and fill with the frosting.
- Make pairs of similar-size cookies. Turn half of the cookies over. Leaving an 1⁄8-inch border, pipe Ws onto the cookies, ensuring that the middle of the W is the same height as the ends. The frosting should be approximately as thick as the cookie. Top each frosted cookie with a second cookie and press lightly to adhere.
- Finish the Cookies Put the toffee in a bowl.
- Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Dip a quarter of the short side of each sandwich cookie into the gianduja, shake off the excess, and dip into the bowl with the toffee. Place on the prepared pans. Refrigerate until the gianduja is firm, approximately 1 hour. The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- For the toffee: Line a half sheet (13 by 18-inch) pan with a Silpat. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook over low stirring every couple of minutes, until the sugars begin to caramelize, approximately 4 minutes. When it turns a dark caramel color and begins to nearly smoke, turn off the heat, stir a couple of times, and pour onto the Silpat. Let harden. Once set, chop coarsely. Depending on the humidity, toffee keeps for at least 1 month in an airtight container.
To cut out the cookies, you will need a rectangular cutter approximately 1 3⁄4 by 2 1⁄2 inches. To pipe the frosting, you will need Ateco tip #804.
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