• Cook Book: Dessert Girl

    Editor by day, master chef (in training) by night, Erin started Dessert Girl to satisfy her cravings for sweet treats and great design.  Her blog features everything from chandeliers made of gummi-bears to chocolate dresses, right alongside delicious recipes like this one she tested out for us:

    "These cookies are amazing– I literally took one bite and said nothing but 'These are so good, these are so good' for a minute straight!  For the second half of my dessert recipes, I went straight to my mom's recipe for white chocolate peppermint bark.  My mom has been making these yummy treats for Christmas since I was young and they always bring back such fond memories.  I changed it up a bit by using deer molds instead of the traditional bark form."

    Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies
    3 1/2 cups flour
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp fleur de sel (or sea salt)
    2 tsp white pepper
    1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
    1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, cool but not cold
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
    3 large egg yolks
    1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
    3 ounces good quality dark chocolate, melted

    1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, fleur de sel, pepper and cocoa powder. Set aside.

    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add the vanilla and melted chocolate and beat until uniform in color.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 10 seconds. 

    3. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat for 15 seconds.  Again, scrape down the bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated.

    4. Loosely shape the dough into two balls, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours.

    5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    6. Unwrap one ball of dough and divide into two equal portions.  Place the first portion on a lightly flour-dusted surface, and return the other half to the fridge.  

    7. Use your hands to knead the dough until pliable and form into a small disc.  Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick round.  It will be slightly sticky, so you may need to flip and flour a few times while you work.  Transfer cut cookies to cookie sheets, leaving about one inch of space around each cookie.

    8. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little extra fleur de sel, and then bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time.  The tops of the cookies will look a bit dry and possibly cracked.  Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for five minutes.  Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.

    Vanilla Filling
    9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and butter until lump-free and smooth. Add the sugar in three parts, mixing each part until just combined. Add the salt, vanilla, and rum and beat again for ten seconds. The filling should be thick, but spreadable (like the inside of an Oreo). If it is too thick, add a drop or two of water as needed. If the mixture is too thin, add a few tablespoons of confectioners' sugar. 

    Assemble the Cookies 
    10. Use a pastry bag or small spoon or knife to apply about two tablespoons of filling to the flat side of a cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat. Let them set for about 15 minutes before serving. Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.

    White Chocolate Peppermint 
    This recipe is pretty simple. Actually, there isn’t really a recipe per se.  As a guideline, you can combine 1 lb. of chocolate with 1 large candy cane stick (or 3 regular-sized candy canes), but it really depends on how much peppermint you want to use. 

    White Chocolate: Chocolate discs work best or you can chop some white chocolate. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. 

     Peppermint: Place candy canes in a zip lock bag. Smash candy canes with rolling pin or other blunt instrument. Keep pounding away until all that’s left are small pieces or larger pieces if that’s what you’re into. The super thick candy cane sticks work best for this, but the thinner, traditional candy canes work as well. 

    Combine peppermint with melted chocolate. Pour into molds. Smooth top with knife. Freeze until solid.

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