Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chai Shortbread Cookies

I have the very good fortune to be set up on the weekend indoor Farmers Market in Stockton, NJ next to the fabulous Owowcow Creamery , selling some of the best..no..make that the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Their ice cream is made in small batches from local, all natural ingredients and the owner, John makes it all himself. The flavors are just amazing and I get to sample everything! They even pass out the almost empty containers for us all to polish off!
Well, last weekend, John made a Chai Cream flavor ice cream that he gave me to sample. It is my new favorite flavor, so far with the Pistachio Raspberry running a close second! But this Chai flavor inspired me to seek out a Chai Shortbread Cookie and I found this recipe on the Culinaryinthedesert blog which is from a Land O Lakes recipe, so he states.
I made half the recipe, to be sure the cookie wouldn't come out too hard for a sandwich cookie. I find that if a cookie that's made to take a filling is too hard, once you bite into it all the filling gushes out. Well, this cookie was just right. Using only confectioners sugar, it is soft enough to take the filling but not too soft for a shortbread.
The flavors of the chai really came through and the filling adds a kind of creaminess to the cookie. I think I'll try adding a little star anise to the next batch since it's another one of the ingredients in chai and not listed in this recipe. Now that I have this recipe, I'm going to adapt my toasted coconut shortbread recipe and then I can incorporate a lime filling..Yum! Stay tuned!
Chai Shortbread Sandwich Cookie ( adapted from Culinaryinthedesert)
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
Scant 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp. half & half
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
2 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
Preheat oven to 325. ( I bake mine in a 350 oven and it was fine). Generously sprinkle granulated sugar on baking sheets.
1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt and spices.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix til all is combined well and begins to clean the sides of the bowl.
4. Shape dough into 1" to 1 1/2" balls and place on baking sheets. Flatten each one with a flat bottom glass dipped in sugar to 1 3/4" in diameter.
5. Bake 10 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
6. Filling: Stir half & half and espresso powder together in a small mixing bowl. Beat in confectioners sugar, a little at a time, then beat in butter and spices. Beat til smooth and creamy.
7. Add a teaspoon size dollop of filling onto one cookie and top with another.
8. Topping: In a small bowl, stir confectioners sugar and cocoa together. Sift over sandwiched cookies.

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