The other day J. posed this question to me. “If you had unlimited funds and didn’t really care about how much money you made, what kind of store would you open?” Having been in retail for many years he just assumed I would reply by saying a shop with a few antiques, unique ceramics and maybe some table linens. I didn’t hesitate in saying “a small bakery”. I even surprised myself with my quick response. Some years ago I had a cafe and I swore that I would not have a food business again.
I think I just realized that I truly love baking, although I consider myself a much stronger cook than a baker. Looking back over this blog in search of a cookie recipe I noticed that I do a fair amount of baking, in fact so much that my freezer is packed with cookies and I haven’t even started my holiday baking.
I saw this recipe once again on Food 52 and was immediately transported back to being in the grocery store with my mom and picking out the Keebler fudge stripe cookie. Being a major chocolate fan I was drawn in by the underside of each cookie being coated in chocolate. The cookie is a buttery shortbread and is tasty on its own, but it’s the combination of cookie and chocolate that makes this a winner.
Fudge Stripe Cookies
180 grams (about 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
90 grams (about 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
270 grams (1 3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons) all purpose flour
340 grams semisweet chocolate (about 10 oz.), chopped
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed to get it smooth. Add the sugar and salt, and cream together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour in two additions, mixing until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325° F and position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line sheet pans with Silicone liners or parchment paper. When the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge and let it sit on your counter for about 10 minutes, just so that it becomes a little easier to work with. Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper and begin to pound out and roll the dough (the paper will help prevent the dough from cracking too much). Continue to roll out the dough until it’s 1/4-inch thick.
Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, gathering and re-rerolling the scraps to make more cookies. Transfer the rounds to the prepared sheet pans. Using the larger end of a pastry tip, cut out a circle from the center of the cookie rounds (I like to do this when the cookies are already on the sheet pans to ensure that they stay perfectly round). Prick the cookies all over with the tines of a fork. Bake the cookies for 17 to 19 minutes, until they’re a pale golden brown.
Let the cookies cool on the sheet pans for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. Dip the bottom of each cookie into the chocolate to coat, scrape the excess off on the side of the bowl, and place on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan, chocolate side up. Repeat with each cookie, and then place them in the fridge to firm up the chocolate (about 5 to 10 minutes). Put remaining melted chocolate in a pastry bag with small round tip. I couldn’t find the right tip to use for the pastry bag so used a plastic bag with corner snipped off. Pipe stripes onto cookies and put in fridge to firm up.
***Next time I would use a pastry bag with tip so the lines are neater. The taste however is exactly what I had hoped for-a grown up version of the packaged cookies from my childhood. Oh and by the way, I have no intention of opening a bakery!