I have four words for you today.
And because I love you, I'm going to add an extra few:
Cookie monster needs a break. If you haven't noticed, there have been quite a lot of cookies 'round this joint. I've deemed this week "The Unofficial Official Cookie Week." Because, you all know I love cookies. And baking. And any excuse to eat them. But… I still need a break. More cookies coming soon ;)
Swiss butter sandwich cookies with chocolate and almonds
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes 28-30 sandwich cookies
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup sugar, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk (use free range local eggs)
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup heavy cream
3 oz bitter or semisweet chocolate, chopped
9 oz bitter or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ¼ cups slivered almonds (about 5 oz), toasted
To make the cookies: Place slivered almonds in food processor along with ¼ cup of the sugar and grind until the almonds are fine. With your electric/ stand mixer, beat butter with remaining ¾ cup of sugar until fluffy and lighter in color, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in yolk, vanilla, and salt. Add the ground almond mixture and flour and mix on low until just incorporated, moist, and uniform. Transfer dough to a clean lightly floured work surface and gather the dough into a ball. Roll the dough into a uniform log about 12 inches long and 2 inches in diameter (I rolled mine 15 x 1.5 inches, but might make them a tad bigger next time). Carefully wrap in plastic and transfer to the refrigerator; chill at least 1 hour.
Remove dough from refrigerator and slice into ⅛- ¼-inch thick disks. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment or silicone mats, spacing an inch or so apart. Chill cookies on sheets while you preheat the oven to 325F with rack in the center. (I prefer to bake one cookie sheet at a time so the cookies bake more evenly; if you'd like, place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking). Bake cookies for 12-13 minutes, or until the cookies begin to color and are crispy around the edges. Cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
To make the filling: Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Whisk in chocolate until melted. Set aside and let cool about 2 hours, until thick but still spreadable. (I cheated because I didn't have time and put the ganache in the freezer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and it was fine… the ganache will not thicken very much even at room temp). Spoon a little ganache onto the bottom side of a cookie, leaving a small border. Place a second cookie of the same size on top, pressing to adhere.
To make the garnish: Stir chopped chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth and completely melted. Place the almonds in a bowl. Dip the end of a sandwich cookie in chocolate, and then roll in almonds. Transfer to a sheet of foil. Repeat with the remaining cookies.