Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Somehow I managed to keep these little cuties around long enough to snap some photos!

Over the MLK weekend earlier this month I was busy in the kitchen with a few things on my 'To Cook' list. One was an Italian Beef Stew from Cooking Light which came out great! A perfect meal for the cold and snowy weekend that we had. I had also just received a new issue of Food Network magazine in the mail with the recipe for these Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies. They were pretty easy to make but have a step in which you need to freeze the dough for an hour, so that adds to the preparation time.

The recipe calls for softened butter, but it should be really, really soft - almost to the point were it melts. The dough will be very dry, like a pie crust dough, and won't hold together until you turn it out on the counter and knead it a few times.  Another tip is to use a ruler when rolling the dough into a log, and then again when making the 1/4 inch slices.  I eyeballed it and my cookies were a little on the thick side and took longer to cook.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red food coloring

For the filling:

3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Make the cookies: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions. Add the food coloring and beat until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead a few times. Roll into a 10-inch-long, 1-inch-diameter log; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Pulse the coconut, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, salt and vanilla in a food processor until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and arrange about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are firm around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Spread about 1 teaspoon of the filling on the flat side of half of the cookies, then sandwich with the remaining cookies.  Enjoy and try not to eat them all in one sitting!

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