Friday, February 4, 2011

Chocolate & Vanilla Sandwich Cookies & Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday today!

Happy Birthday Daddy-O !!!!!!!

It's funny, because we're a family of 4. Three women, one man. All of the womens' birthdays are in the summer....then there's my Dad all outstanding in February.

I'll never forget that date though...Feb. 4. It has a nice ring to it.

My Dad's a pretty neat guy. This is him. I took this photo on Christmas morning in 2008.

He wears really cool sweaters. Here are 3 other really cool things about him:

1. He bends iron. Literally. He builds really large, really gorgeous wrought iron masterpieces for a living.

2. He can fix anything. Seriously. If you break it, he can fix it.
He was very handy to have around growing up as a kid. I kinda miss that. Although Jonathan has been doing a pretty decent job of it so far....

3. He can eat nonstop until next month and not gain a single pound. Wild!

On this spectacular day, I didn't make a cake....or even cupcakes.

I made these crispy little Chocolate & Vanilla Sandwich Cookies. I think my Dad would appreciate these more because he loves to snack on stuff. Chocolate covered almonds, M&M's, chocolate covered raisins, peanuts, pistachios....he seems to like small things.

It's probably got to do with the fact that you don't need a plate, a fork, a spoon or a knife. Your hand will do just fine. Plus when you eat a bunch of little makes it seem less definite and more infinite.

Infinite eating without weight-gaining pretty much sums up heaven for me.

Anyway...the cookie part of these Chocolate & Vanilla Sandwich Cookies is pastry rather than your typical cookie dough. This gives them a nice flaky texture. Rubbing butter into the dry ingredients coats all of the flour particles (notably gluten proteins) with fat and has a "shortening" effect. This means that it prevents gluten strands from linking to one another, elongating and then forming a network which would make it more tough and cohesive. Get it? It sort of "shortens" the strands. Small bits of butter that are left in there can create steam when they hit the heat of the oven and make the little cookies puff up a bit for extra crunch and flake. It's lovely.

I filled them with chocolate ganache and then decorated them with girly.

These might just be perfect for your Valentine too.

This recipe makes a TON of cookies since I cut them very small. So, feel free to use a larger cookie cutter and bake them slightly longer. This dough also freezes nicely so you could wrap it up well in plastic wrap and save half the dough for another time!
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