Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sacher Torte Sandwiches - January Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup

I was trying to be super-creative for this one, trying to think outside the box.  I mean, I love miniatures.  I make mini-desserts, I love when foods are made single serving, what's not to love.  But then I realized two important things. One, my brain does not work in a straight line.  I don't really think a box could contain the leaps and bounds and stretches my mind makes when I think about things.  Second, I am always making miniatures.  What are cookies if not miniature desserts?

So instead of something totally different, I thought I would share my process with you.  This is how Dvora's Cookie Creations comes up with a new flavor.

1.  Have a food craving.
2.  If it's healthy, indulge it.
3.  If it's for something sweet, think about how the flavors I am dying for can be translated into a cookie form.

That's it.  There's not much of that "Cupcake Wars" notion of how can I fit a disgusting ingredient into a dessert.  I draw the line at that.  No cheese curls or crispy salmon skin in my desserts.  But this concept of translation has worked for me.  Thus, the orange-cranberry-white chocolate cookies (started with Creamsicles), the apricot white chocolate cookies (chocolate dipped dried fruit), the pecan shortbread (pecan pie), the samoa sandwiches (Girl Scout cookies), the Chunky Monkey bars (ice cream!! - still working on the Chubby Hubby squares), and today's example, the Sacher Torte sandwich.

So let's talk cake for a minute.   I love cake of all kinds.  It's delicious, or should be.  But there's so much of it.  Even a little 6-inch cake is too many servings to just have lying around.  A cookie, however, is portion-controlled.  You can make some, freeze the rest of the dough, eat one, and put the other cookies aside for Shabbat or another occasion that calls for some dessert.

Sacher Torte is a traditional Austrian pastry; two layers of chocolate sponge sandwiching apricot preserves, covered in chocolate glaze.  Mmmmm.  So to translate this into cookie-hood, I decided to go the sandwich cookie route (which, let's face it, I do a lot of.  It just seems a great way to layer flavors and textures.).  I started with a chocolate but not excessively chocolatey roll out cookie, to which I added almond extract - not so authentic, but definitely screams Vienna to me.  I wanted one with a fair amount of leavening, so the cookies would puff up to resemble the texture (sort of) of sponge cake.  I cut the well-chilled dough into circles, cutting out a small circle from the center of half of the cookies to provide a window into the filling. 

After baking, I paired off the cookies, one solid and one with a peek-through, so that similar sized cookies fit together.  It's one of those annoyances that even cookies cut with a cutter are never all precisely the same, so it's just gotta be done.  I covered the backs of the solid cookies with apricot preserves, then topped them with the cut-out cookies.  Instead of coating the whole thing with chocolate, I chose to drizzle a zig-zag of chocolate across the cookies, as I felt a complete or even partial dunking would overpower the apricot and almond flavors.  And a drizzle is always pretty...

So there you have it, an actual cookie recipe from me.  It doesn't happen too often, so enjoy!
Sacher Torte Sandwich Cookies
200 grams margarine, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

good quality apricot preserves
100 grams chocolate chips or baking chocolate
1 teaspoon oil

Cream margarine with sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to creamed mixture.  Divide dough into three disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill well, at least one hours.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Roll out dough on well-floured surface, about 1/8" thick. using a 2" round cutter, cut circles.  Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Gather up scraps and re-roll.  Cut out a small (1/3 - 1/2") circle from the center of half the cookies.  Bake for about 7 minutes.  Cool and pair cookies, one whole and one cut-out, by matching sizes.  On the underside of the whole cookies, spread apricot preserves.  Top with a cut-out cookie.  Spread cookies out on a fresh piece of parchment.  Melt chocolate with oil in microwave on low power.  Pour into a disposable decorating bag or heavy duty ziploc bag.  Twist shut, and cut off tip/corner.  Drizzle chocolate onto cookies.  Let chocolate set, and - b'tayavon!


oddities & obstacles said...

yum! and gorgeous

dena said...

I like sacher tortes but they are such a pain to make and decorate. You are so creative to scale it down to a relatively easier version! Thanks for sharing!

Pragmatician said...

Wow, I'd buy those in an instant, we need a machine wherein one throws all the ingredients and the cookies (and cakes) and they come out exactly like on the picture.

If you like the pictures you see here but would love to see more updated photos, make sure to check out our Facebook page! In the meantime, we will do our best to keep the blog a little more current.