The last few days were unseasonably warm and a lot of the snow has melted. Happy day! The eight foot piles are down to about four feet. Today the cold weather is back.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating…I love recreating recipes that are purchased from bakeries or pre-packaged from the supermarket. A couple of weeks ago I shared Italian Butter Cookies with you and now I’d like to share Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookies. The dough was a little thick for piping, although I did not puncture the Ziploc bag while piping the dough, my hands did get tired.
This is another recipe from The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo. I think everyone has seen the sandwich butter cookies in bakeries. Most of the time they are filled with jam or preserves but sometimes they are filled with chocolate which is what I chose to do because my hubby loves the chocolate version. These are a tender and delicious cookie - you won’t be able to stop at just one. Which version would you and your family prefer?
Italian Finger Sandwich Butter Cookies
Yield: 80 individual cookies Cook Time: 7 minutes
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter, room temperature or softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 eggs (for 1/2 an egg, beat an egg in a small bowl; take 1 1/2 tablespoons to equal 1/2 an egg)
- 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- green (30 drops), red (40 drops) or yellow (optional)
Filling and Garnish:
- jam (about an 8 ounce jar)
- coconut, shredded
- chopped nuts
- 3 ounces chocolate chips, melted with 1 to 3 tablespoons shortening (double if sandwiching with chocolate)
- powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- additional chocolate for drizzle (optional)
Step 1: For the dough: In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 5 minutes at medium speed. Combine egg yolks, vanilla and food coloring (if using) with butter mixture and mix until completely combined. Mix in baking powder and flour at low speed.
Step 2: The original recipe specified “Using star tip #4 “s” tube, pipe out in 2″ bars on greased baking pan.” but since I don’t have those particular items, I used a Ziploc bag, cut off one corner (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch opening) and piped the dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. My cookies were about 3 to 4 inches long and I got about 80 cookie bars which turned into 40 cookie sandwiches Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. I needed to bake for 7 minutes. Cool completely on racks.
Step 3: Filling and Garnish: Melt 3 ounces of chocolate in the microwave in two or three 30 second increments. Add shortening and microwave for 20 seconds. Mix thoroughly. I found that 1 tablespoon of shortening was enough per 3 ounces of chocolate. Place desired garnishes in small bowls.
Step 4: Once cookies are completely cooled (it’s better to wait overnight because they are very tender), pair the cookie bars together based on length and shape. Dip the flat bottom side of the cookie into the melted chocolate or spread with jam. Top with the flat side of the paired cookie. Dip one end of cookie sandwich into the melted chocolate on all sides. While the chocolate is still soft on the end of the cookie, dip chocolate end into garnishes until covered. Place on wax paper or parchment until dry. Let garnishes set before storing.
Storing: Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.
Note: The pastry star tube is the large commercial size and may be purchased at any restaurant or baking supply house. 4 “S” – 3/8 inch opening. Use a No. 12 inch pastry bag; cut opening to fit large pastry tube.
Recipe minimally adapted from The Italian Bakery book by Lee Mangione Cirillo.