Tuesday, August 21, 2012

stubbed toe cookies

If you haven't noticed, I love to bake for my kids.  I love to bake for them when they are sick, if they get hurt, if they are having a bad day, or just because it's Thursday.  Or Monday, as was the case with these cookies.  Well, Monday with a nastily stubbed toe.

It's not hard to figure out where my daughter came from.  As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.....  Grace, as I am known to be called, has made her appearance quite regularly during my lifetime.  I have been known to trip over a shadow, walk into walls, walk into a flag pole causing the left side of my face to be speckled in black and blue, and simply turn my head into a stone wall, scraping and bruising the whole side of my nose. I wish I could say that these calamities occurred as a clumsy adolescent, but alas, these have all happened within the last month.

As an adolescent, my injuries were legendary.  Well, maybe not legendary, but definitely frequent.  Sixth grade:  fractured my left wrist while ice skating at a winter camp.  The science teacher from our school was on the trip, and he didn't believe me, so he didn't call my parents or send me to a doctor.  When I appeared in school with a cast on my arm... well... let's just say that he was verrry nice to me.  Seventh grade:  re-fractured my left wrist while skiing.  Eighth grade:  re-fractured my left wrist when my dad slipped on the ice and pulled me with him.  Ninth grade:  that's right- another re-fractured left wrist after Kyle tripped me in the hall.  It was a great trip though- books were sent flying and I barely landed on my wrist.  But because it had been through so much, I had a cast that lasted for months...  Tenth grade, early September:  tore ligaments in my left ankle from messing around at tennis team try-outs.  I had a cast for six weeks. Tenth grade, March:  tore ligaments in my left ankle after a perfectly spiked ball during pre-game volleyball warm up. Totally lame.  Who cares about pre-game warm ups?? Another cast for six weeks.  Same year, July:  broke my left foot from jumping off of a curb.  Another six week cast...

Well, fortunately I'm not THAT clumsy anymore.  I just walk into things these days...

And make cookies!

Like I mentioned earlier, these cookies were made to put a smile on my daughter's face. The hearts were absolutely necessary.

This cookie is unusual in a couple of ways.  First, it is a basic sugar cookie, but it is made with confectioners' sugar instead of regular ol' granular sugar.  I had never thought to do that!  It produced such a lovely, light, crisp deliciousness that I plan to make over and over and over again.  The second unusual ingredient was substituting cream for the chocolate with coconut cream.  Well, it's not unusual for me, I use coconut cream all the time, but getting the cream is unusual- you put a can of coconut milk into the refrigerator for about an hour and scoop out the solidified cream from the top.  You can use the coconut water in those morning shakes that are becoming so popular these days.

I usually keep a couple of cans of coconut milk in the fridge for this purpose.  I can't always find the full fat coconut milk (the full fat cream is thicker and harder than less fat varieties and is really perfect as a frosting- whip it up and add some confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and some cinnamon- I have been known to eat it with a spoon).  But the less fat coconut cream works just fine.  I wouldn't use any sort of low fat coconut milk though.  That rarely creams up in the fridge.

But the regular fat coconut milk cream looks like this..

And now, on to the cookies.......

chocolate cream-filled cookies
Adapted from Mrs. Fields

1 1/2 cups Earth Balance dairy free butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

chocolate cream filling:
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 cup Enjoy Life semisweet dairy free chocolate chips

Combine butter and confectioners' sugar in bowl of an electric mixer set to medium.  I will usually put a towel to cover the mixer to avoid the inevitable confectioners' snowstorm.  Add vanilla and mix until creamy.  Turn the speed down to low, scraping the bowl.  Add the flour, a bit at a time, and mix thoroughly.

Pat the dough into two flattened patties, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Lightly flour work surface and roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thick.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on ungreased cookie sheets.  You can re-roll the scraps, but be careful that you do not overwork the dough.  Bake 16-18 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan but do not boil.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips.  Give it a stir, and then cover for about 15 minutes.  Stir until smooth, then transfer to a bowl.  Let cool to room temperature.

Once the cookies have cooled, spread a spoonful of chocolate filling onto the bottom side of half of the cookies.  Top with the remaining bottom sides of the rest of the cookies, making little sandwiches.

Lick the spoon, and then put your finger into the bowl and clean that out as well.  Or, if your prefer, you may clean out the bowl by using the cookie sandwiches as a scraping tool.  I won't tell.

Now you are ready to finish off the cookies.  Oh, and don't forget to save a few for your daughter, for whom you made the cookies in the first place.  I don't think she would ever forgive you if you didn't....

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