Approaching almost a full year of this blog, I've learned one of the hardest things about creating content from week to week is translating my visions into reality. Sometimes it's just that I can't get the picture I want, or sometimes I just don't have as much to say as I thought I did, and every now and then, its just that I messed up a recipe. I could drive myself crazy trying to make this space as beautifully styled or my recipes as rigorously tested and infallible as some of the other blogs I read every day, but I don't have that kind of time and also, I think maybe the last thing the internet needs is another meticulously curated space showcasing aspirational perfection.
Because here's the thing about cooking and messing up: It happens. All the time. Even using a recipe, things never come out exactly the same way twice. Sure, you want to make sure the guideline works, but also you want it to be ok if your oven temperature spikes, you get distracted, or your chocolate just won't behave. And if all of that happens and whatever you were making is still edible, the best thing to do in that situation is just shrug it off and enjoy that you made something.
Anyway, that's what I kept telling myself while frosting these cookies with a stiff, grainy ganache that was nothing like the smooth, fluffy confection I planned to pipe onto them. It's true that they aren't the lookers I was hoping for, but they taste pretty damn good, and it's nice to take a break from Instaworld every now and then and remind myself that that's the most important part.
If you do nothing else, buy a hunk of white chocolate and caramelize it. It will change your life, I swear.
Chocolate Ginger Caramelized White Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 20 sandwich cookies
Chocolate Ginger Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs dutch processed cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tsp grated fresh ginger
Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache
8 oz caramelized white chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
- Make cookie dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter, sugars and ginger with a mixer on medium speed 2-3 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla until combined. With mixer on low speed, incorporate the flour mixture, then turn dough out onto plastic wrap, divide in half, and chill at least 1 hour.
- Make the ganache. Roughly chop the white chocolate and place it in a heat proof bowl. Heat heavy cream in a saucepot to a boil, then, pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 10 minutes, then whisk to combine. Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator 1-2 hours.
- When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take your chilled ganache out of the refrigerator. Roll the dough out to a 1/8 inch thickness, then cut out 2-inch circles using a biscuit or cookie cutter and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Freeze cut out dough for 15 minutes, then bake 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.Let cool completely before filling.
- When ready to fill cookies, whip the ganache 1-2 minutes until fluffy and paler in color. Make sure the ganache is at room temperature, or at least not very chilled. Pipe or spread ganache onto half of the cookies, and top with remaining halves.
- When ready to whip the ganache, make sure it is not too cold. It will firm up faster in the refrigerator, but if you try to whip it when it is cold, it may become grainy, because the fat solids in the chocolate don't warm up as quickly as the liquid cream. If this happens, you can gently warm up the ganache and even it out, but it probably won't whip up. Either way, it will still be edible and still delicious, just not as pretty.
- If all of this talk of tricky ganache is scaring you, you can also just fill the cookies with the melted chocolate. In that case, don't add cream, but melt the chocolate, then wait until it has firmed up enough to spread our pipe onto the cookies.