chocolate marmalade cookies

Just because I’ve given up sweet, delicious treats doesn’t mean y’all have to suffer. I made these right before I started my carb fast, but I thought I’d wait to share them since I had a feeling that there would be no baking here for a while.

There has been absolutely no baking.

I haven’t baked a thing in almost three weeks. I think I’m going through some serious withdrawal at the moment. I start to feel a little crazy when I look at desserts in cookbooks and magazines. And my stand mixer seems rather lonesome. I’ve come to realize that my need to bake actually exceeds my need to devour sweets, which I think might be a good thing. I miss the precision, the mess I tend to make, and, of course, I miss quality testing. I really miss the whole process.

So in the meantime, I’ve been making a list of all the bakeries I want to visit while I’m in New York. There just aren’t enough days! After ogling the pages of her book, Sarabeth’s has made its way on the list. I am totally obsessed with From My Hands to Yours. It is my new baking bible. The photos are beautiful and there are lots of technical words of wisdom throughout the book. I have not been able to put it down. And I want to make everything.

These gorgeous little sandwich cookies made my heart skip a beat for a number of reasons. One, they’re filled with marmalade – I love me some marmalade. Two, they’re dipped in dark chocolate. And who doesn’t love dark chocolate? Three, I already had all of the ingredients on hand, including my homemade three citrus marmalade. How could I pass them up?

I definitely chose well (though I’m sure I would have loved any of the goodies from the book). These cookies are delightful. There is a hint of lemon in the buttery shortbread, which works perfectly with the sweet, sticky marmalade, which works perfectly with the velvety dark chocolate.  And they’re not overwhelmingly sweet. If you ask me, it’s a perfectly balanced cookie. I wish I could have one right now. But I mustn’t. So maybe you should try them and remind me of what I’m missing out on.

chocolate marmalade cookies

from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine

makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

grated zest of 1/4 lemon

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup orange marmalade, finely chopped 

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided

Beat the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes longer. Beat in the yolks, lemon zest and salt. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour in thirds, and mix just until the dough comes together and the sides of the bowl are almost clean.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gather and shape the dough into a smooth ball. Roll the dough under our hands into a 14-inch long log that is about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place a 18 by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper on the work surface, with the long side facing you. Transfer the dough log to the center of the parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over the log. Hold the edge of a yardstick securely along the long side of the log, pull the top layer of the parchment paper under the yardstick to tighten the paper and lightly compress the log. The log should now be 16 inches long. Unwrap the log. To remove the visible seam in the dough, roll it lightly on the paper to smooth it out. Reroll the paper around the log. Do not twist the ends closed, as this dough is soft. Refrigerate until the dough id chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.

Position the racks in the center and top of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Unwrap the log. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the log crosswise into 3/8 thick rounds, keeping the rounds in sequence. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the pans, arranging them in pairs to that they will fit together nicely when sandwiched. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on the baking pans.

Turn the cookies over so the undersides face up. Spoon a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade onto one of each pair of cookies, and sandwich their flat sides together. Let the cookies stand overnight at room temperature to set the marmalade.

To temper the chocolate, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to very low. Place 8 ounces of the chocolate in a wide, heatproof bowl. Transfer the bowl to the saucepan, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate reaches 110° to 112°F on a thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and place on a kitchen towel. Add the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and stir until melted. Let stand, stirring every minute or so, until the chocolate reaches 88°F.

Lina a half-sheet pan with fresh parchment paper. One at a time, dip a cookie in the chocolate, letting the chocolate come about one-third up the sides of the cookie. Give the cookie a gentle shake to remove the excess chocolate, then carefully place the cookie on the pan. Push each cookie with your finger to move it about 1/8 inch from its position on the pan to dislodge and remove the “foot” the chocolate has formed. Let the cookies stand until the chocolate sets. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container, with the layers separated by the parchment paper, for up to 5 days.

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