Is it possible to pass the age of 5 without eating an Oreo? I think not. Kids of dentists- I’m sorry….you will have to bum one off a classmate for a trade. Good luck with those carrot sticks…. Do we still want to eat Oreo’s at 55? Yes, definitely, and at every age in between. Do we like cutesy Halloween cut out Oreo inspired cookies? You betcha. Pick your filling; chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream, even peanut butter filling. Only if you are thinking of packing the peanut butter version in your kid’s lunch you might have to retain an attorney first, so best not go there. Peanut butter lunch treats are now pretty much extinct in 49 states I think. I’ll give you all three fillings and you can decide. Make the peanut butter version for home. I used a Wilton Linzer Halloween cutter set. It came with various cut outs: cat, bat, ghost, pumpkin, owl. The cat was my favorite. You can find it on Amazon.com Click here if interested.
Halloween Chocolate Sandwich Cream Cookies
adapted from epicurious: yield ~ 3 dozen cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Filling choices:(see recipes below): Milk Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Buttercream, or Peanut butter brown sugar cream
Make the dough:
1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in yolk and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
Make ganache while dough chills: Bring 3 oz. cream to a scald (not quite a boil) in a microwave in a glass measuring cup, then pour over 6 oz. of finely chopped milk chocolate. Stir until smooth. Cover surface with parchment paper and chill, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 30 minutes. Notice the ratio here; half cream to the amount of chocolate. You can make a bigger batch; just make sure to follow that rule and measure out your cream by a glass measuring cup and to measure out the chocolate by weight scale. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Vanilla buttercream: In a bowl or hand mixer combine 1 stick (1/2 Cup) softened unsalted butter until creamed and soft. Add 6 cups sifted confectioners sugar (2 cups at a time) , 1/2 Cup whole milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy. Makes about 4 cups. You can divide it up and color some of the buttercream orange for pumpkins, green for hats, left white for ghosts,etc.
Peanut butter brown sugar cream: In a small bowl place 1/2 Cup to 1 Cup dark brown sugar and break up any lumps with a fork. In a medium bowl: Mix in 1 Cup creamy smooth [no sugar added] peanut butter with 1/2 Cup of dk. brown sugar with a heavy wooden spoon until filling is smooth. Experiment and see what you like; try with 1/2 Cup first to see if you like it less sweet or more sweet and tweak as necessary. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Cut and bake cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 baking sheets with either a Silpat liner or Parchment paper.
Roll out 1 piece of dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 14- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick). Slide dough in plastic still onto a tray and freeze until dough is firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Cut out as many solid rounds as possible from first chilled square with cutter, reserving and chilling scraps, then quickly transfer cookies to a parchment lined or Silpat baking sheet, arranging them 1/2 inch apart. (If dough becomes too soft, return to freezer until firm.)
Bake at 350 degrees until baked through and slightly puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on sheet on rack 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely (cookies will crisp as they cool).
Use the remaining dough to make the cut out with decorative window Halloween cut for the top of the cookies; such as bats, ghosts, cats, or witches hats. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (reroll only once).
Assemble sandwich cookies: Stir aggressively the ganache to ensure smoothness. Transfer to a sealable plastic bag (snip off 1/8 to 1/4 inch from 1 corner with scissors) or pipe into a piping bag with a round plain tip. Pipe 1 tsp. ganache or 1 tsp. of chosen buttercream onto flat sides of plain cookies, then top with a chosen cutout cookie for the top to make sandwiches. Chill, layered between sheets of parchment, in an airtight container until filling is set, at least 1 hour.
Cook’s notes: Dough can be chilled up to 2 days. Ganache can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, its surface covered with parchment. Bring to room temperature, then beat with mixer before using. · Sandwiched cookies keep, chilled, 4 days.