My husband and I don’t really do Valentine’s day.
We prefer to make an effort each day to make sure each person feels and knows they are loved. We voice our needs and make an effort to meet each other’s expectations in ways like taking out the trash, cleaning up the kitchen, or cuddling on the couch watching Girls (oh, Hannah…). We take the cultural pressure off this one day in February that is supposed to be over the top and extravagant and just allow each other to be loved year round. I don’t know about you, but if I get my hopes up about something (fancy dinner, a dozen roses) chances are the reality will never match up to my imagination. Such is Valentine’s day.
One way I never hesitate to go over the top is with food. I will take any excuse to consume something rich, decadent, and extravagant. Let’s meet my friend the chocolate chocolate chip sandwich cookie with cinnamon buttercream.
Holy cow. It’s a chocolate chip cookie. But it’s also a chocolate chocolate chip cookie. With these big, dark Ghirardelli chocolate chips (disks, if you really ask me) they come out of the oven so soft and gooey that you wonder if they’ll even make it to their destined sandwich form. Sandwiching them together automatically makes it acceptable to eat two, because you know you were going to anyways. Believe me, they are perfection right there.
The hardest part is waiting. The cookies need to cool completely before you can even begin to think about sandwiching them together. The puddles of melted chocolate being embraced by sweet chocolate dough make this a fragile cookie to handle before it is completely cooled. I love how the Ghirardelli chips are larger than other chocolate chips, creating a greater impact of chocolate flavor. The chips have a flavor and texture that are high quality while still being affordable and readily available at my local grocery store.
While you’re waiting for the cookies to cool you can work on your buttercream. The cinnamon brings a subtle, warming flavor to the sweetness of the butter and sugar. I’m not a huge fan of the color pink, but I’m completely obsessed with this dusty rose color. It looks like sweet little baby lips, ready to kiss you.
This is a delightfully small batch of cookies, just right for loving your family or co-workers without having too many leftovers lying around threatening your thighs. If it’s just you and your sweetie you’ll have plenty of decadence with enough sandwich cookies to last you the rest of the week. All food holidays should last a week anyways.
Are you following along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram? If those aren’t your thing you can subscribe to The Live-In Kitchen to have new posts delivered straight to your email.
For the Cookies:
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
For the Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
A few drops of natural food coloring (optional)
To make the cookies, heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Place cold butter in a small bowl and microwave in 4 second bursts until it is slightly melted.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until light. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about one minute. Add the vanilla and egg and beat just until incorporated. Add flour, cocoa, soda, and salt, and pulse to prevent the dry ingredients from coming out the sides. Once the mixture starts to come together, mix on low speed just until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
Roll golf ball sized mounds of dough between your hands and place at least two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes. Cookies will still be very soft but should no longer appear wet on top. Allow the cookies to cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet before very carefully removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. You want the cookies to be completely cool before frosting. You can place them carefully in the refrigerator to speed up this process.
To make the buttercream, beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon. Add powdered sugar and heavy cream and mix until smooth. You can adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding more powdered sugar to stiffen or more heavy cream to loosen it up. If desired, add a few drops of natural red food coloring to achieve the pink color.
Spread a generous amount of frosting on the bottom of one cookie and gently press another against it to create a sandwich. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Makes 8 sandwich cookies.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.