Monday, March 4, 2013

Coconut Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Ganache

Purim is not my favorite holiday and thankfully it passed as quickly as it came. (Anyone else feel like this year is just flying by?!) Part of the Purim festivities is the obligation to give mishloach manot to at least one person. This is where people invest most of their energies, after their costumes are all settled, of course. People spend hours choosing a theme and then buying the goods and assembling these packages. I can remember my parents buying cases of junk food just for this purpose and forming an assembly line around our dining room table to assemble the mishloach manot for our many family members and friends. Me? I always choose to go the homemade route. Include one or two baked goods, and you're good to go. This year, it took a long time for anything to evolve in my head, and even at the last second, I changed the theme again. These cookies were the product of a possible "black and white" theme. (It fell through.. I ended up making homemade smores and just adding two of these cookies in so as not to waste them.) The recipe comes from the Israeli book simply called Chocolate. I purchased it in one of my very first years here in Israel and haven't used it that much but I gather that will be changing. These cookies are delicious by themselves, flavored with desiccated coconut and ethereally light in texture due to the addition of cornstarch. Add a simple ganache filling and you've elevated these cookies to gift-giving heights. I'm almost certain the only change I made to the recipe itself was to add a dash of salt to the cookie dough. Easy, delicious and holiday friendly.
Coconut Sandwich Cookies with Ganache Filling
From Chocolate

125 grams softened butter or margarine
2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp desiccated coconut

1/4 cup cream
125 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of your mixer and beat until creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a dough forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Chill the dough for an hour at least.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Roll the dough as thinly and evenly as you can get it and the. Cut circles with a cookie cutter. The recipe says 6cm and I actually used a ruler to measure my cutter. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for around 15 minutes until lightly golden.

Cool the cookies while you make the filling. Heat the cream until almost boiling and add the chocolate. Let sit a minute before stirring until smooth. Let cool until the ganache reaches a spreadable consistency. Pair up the cookies as best as you can and spread some ganache on to one cookie. Top with the second cookie to form a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

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