I think I have mentioned this before, but I have mixed feelings about Halloween. Being third on my favorite holidays list, it can be a lot of fun and…really weird. I like some spook and I like to be creeped out a little; I enjoy a good suspense/thriller movie, and on occasion, maybe even an old B horror flick – maybe. But really disgusting costumes with warped faces and blood coated knives is not for this girl! I always like to think of Halloween as kind of a celebration of fall; pumpkins, CUTE costumes, fun parties, and maybe even a little scary thrown in (you know, googly eye monsters and all that stuff!).
All I’m saying I guess, is that for me there is a difference between spooky and then a downright celebration of all things death and dark. *Shutter*
Anyway, what are your plans? Are you the haunted house scare-me-till-I-scream type or are you a member of the let’s keep Halloween cute club? ;)
Regardless of how you enjoy the holiday, these Sandwich Cookies are enough to please anybody AND they’re not just Halloween Specific!
The lowdown: These Shortbread Sandwich Cookies start with my family’s shortbread recipe and are then filled with a whipped marshmallow ganache. What?! Uh yeah, I could eat the filling by itself – so, so good! Feel free to use a pumpkin cookie cutter (that’s what I was going to use until I found out we don’t have one…), orange sprinkles or whatever fits the occasion!
*WARNING* These photos were not taken by my usual photographer (aka my brother) as he is out of town. So I had my other brother get out a camera, show me a couple of things, and well, I shot! Please don’t judge my work – or lack of – to harshly! *pleading voice* *on hands and knees* ;P
Whipped Marshmallow Ganache Filling8 oz (1 C.) heavy cream
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. marshmallow creme
Shortbread6 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. granulated sugar
1 lb (4 sticks) butter, slightly softened and cut into slices
2-3 egg yolks
Optionalorange and/or black sugar sprinkles
pumpkin cookie cutter
About 3 hours before starting the shortbread, make ganache filling.
For the fillingHeat the cream in a medium sized microwavable bowl for 1-1 ½ minute/s on high, or until it is just beginning to simmer; make sure not to allow the cream to boil over.
Add chocolate to cream and let it stand for 2 minutes.
Whisk together until mixture is smooth.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 2 hours, or until thick, giving the mixture a stir every 30 min. or so.
After 2 hours (ganache should be pretty thick), transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Whisk on high, about 2 minutes.
Add in marshmallow creme and whisk again for about 1 more minute.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to fridge to chill for another hour.
For the shortbreadIn a large bowl mix together flour and sugar. With your hands, knead butter into flour mixture until well blended, about 5 minutes. It will be done when dough forms a moist crumb and there are no visible chunks of butter.
Using your hands, mix in egg yolks. Start with two, mix and form a small ball. If the dough is too dry and falls apart add the extra yolk (I used 3 yolks). Just keep in mind that this is a very crumbly dough in general, but it should still hold together when you squeeze some together in your hand.
Preheat oven to 350° f.
Form about 7 baseball-size balls of dough.
On a floured surface, take one ball at a time and lightly roll to about 1/4 in. thickness with rolling pin (you can also pat it out with your hands). Again, keep in mind this is a crumbly dough so as you roll you might need to do some patching.
With a 2-3" round or shaped cookie cutter (mine was 2 3/4" round), cut out circles/shapes, re-rolling/patting dough as needed.
Repeat with remaining dough balls, re-flouring surface as needed.
Place rounds on a non greased cookie sheet (they can be placed fairly close together as they won't spread while baking) and sprinkle with decorating sugar, if desired.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and cookies are firm to the touch (be careful not to burn yourself!).
Remove cookies from oven and transfer pan to cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes remove cookies from pan and transfer directly to cooling rack to finish cooling.
Make sure cookies are completely cool before filling.
To fillRemove filing from fridge. Place about 2 tbsp. (maybe a wee bit more, depending on how thick you like your sandwiches) of the filling on the bottom side of a cookie. Spread until evenly distributed. Place another cookie round on top and then repeat with remaining cookies.
Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 2 days.
You know, Christmas is coming and I could totally see this filling with some mint or peppermint extract added - mmm... :)