So my thoughts turned to what kinds of desserts would travel best. Ice cream was obviously--though quite unfortunately because Ting loves froyo--out. As was cake, since I wouldn't want to send anything unfrosted and DIY unfinished. That left breads and cookies. I decided that while breads would be a great care-package type item, they weren't really all that festive and therefore were inappropriate for a birthday, so cookies it was. Then, I knew it had to be some form of more robust cookies, since I didn't want the treats to end up arriving in New York as a big package of crumbs. That would be a huge waste of postage. And, I don't know how it hit me but suddenly... *sandwich cookies!* They would travel perfectly, and I could make two different flavors to send for variety. :-D
Rosemary-lemon sandwich cookies
Chocolate-vanilla "oreo" sandwich cookies
So, Ting's birthday package ended up with two kinds of "oreos": rosemary-lemon and good old nostalgic chocolate-vanilla.--both recipes that I'll be posting this week, starting with the rosemary-lemon ones today.
The rosemary-lemon sandwich cookies were definitely the more "grown-up" flavor out of the two, but they were a great complement to the traditional oreos. The rosemary in the cookies isn't overpowering, and, together with the lemon, lends a subtle excellent fragrance to the overall cookie. I thought the combination might be a little too exotic, but when I took both types with me to the office after I'd made them, the rosemary-lemon were definitely the more popular of the two (probably also thanks to that exoticism--everyone wanted to try them)!
I heard from Ting a few days after I sent the cookies telling me that they arrived completely intact and were still delicious, even after having survived a couple-thousand mile journey across the country. :-D Hope you had a very happy (and yummy!) birthday, Ting!
Make sure to tune in later this week for the traditional chocolate-vanilla oreo recipe.
Read on for recipe...
Rosemary-lemon sandwich cookiesmakes ~25-30 cookies
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 Tbspn finely chopped rosemary
3/4 tspn salt
1/2 tspn baking powder
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tspn vanilla
1 egg white, optional
1/2 cup sugar, optional
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, rosemary, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium.
3. Mix in the egg and vanilla to the fluffed butter and sugar.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients in two batches and mix until combined.
5. Wrap the dough in 2-3 separate portions in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup veggie shortening
freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
freshly grated lemon zest of a whole lemon
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1. In mixer, beat butter and shortening for about 2-3 minutes on medium.
2. Add lemon juice and zest and gradually mix in powdered sugar.3. With mixer on high, beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Baking and assembling:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Take one portion of dough out of the freezer at a time. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper or on a floured surface until about 1/4" thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
3. Place prepared dough on a pan with a silpat or sheet of parchment paper. If using, brush the each piece with some beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
4. Bake cookies for ~15-18 minutes, rotating once half-way through.
5. Remove cookies and let cool.6. Fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe a small amount on a cookie. Sandwich the filling with another cookie and gently press down.