One of the sweetest people that I know is Maren. And it’s not because she has a knack with desserts. I first met Maren at a local cooking school, and we continued to cross paths many times at the same place and, eventually, through small food-centric gatherings and dinner parties over the last few years. Each time I talk to her, or see one of her Facebook updates, it seems as though she is announcing a new trip, talent or treasure in her life. It’s always interesting to see what she is up to in this world, and that includes her passion for sharing different dishes with her friends and family. One day, I hope Amir can pop into another one of our dinner parties to chat food with Maren. Something tells me we’d both love her holiday cookie recipe!
“I grew up spending afternoons baking in my grandmother’s kitchen. The aromas that wafted out of that kitchen would bring neighbors to her door, knowing that we would be there, most likely with fresh cookies to share.
As we both had a serious sweet tooth, cookies were our favorite things to bake. And chocolate filled spritz was the cookie that we would create for special occasions. There was always plenty to share, unless we devoured the cookie dough first…
These cookies are delicious. The bites will dissipate in your mouth. And really, they can be made any time you feel like buttery, chocolate decadence. In fact, I recommend that you make them sooner rather than later. Not only will you impress anyone that you offer them to, but people who don’t usually eat sweets tend to come back for seconds.”
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 Lindt chocolate bars
- Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl- I do this every time that I use flour to make sure that no lumps are added to the pastry.
- Cream the butter and sugar together. I do this for 4-5 minutes, letting the mixture become light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and combine. Add dry ingredients a little at a time, until the flour is just mixed in to the dough. Finish mixing in the flour by hand to create the smallest amount of gluten possible.
- Press out rows of the dough using a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Five rows can fit on a cookie sheet. Break the chocolate bar into pieces, and place 7-8 blocks across the row of dough. Sandwich in the chocolate with another row of pressed dough.*
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm. Cut cookies and transfer to a rack to cool.
- * If you don’t have a cookie press, you can roll out the dough, and use a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out the cookies.
- If you have enough restraint, you can prep these cookies and freeze the sandwiched rows of dough, cutting out and baking one cookie at a time. Other fillings can be used if chocolate is not your favorite ingredient. Good luck!