Friday, October 24, 2014

Cream Filled Chocolate Cookies

After Camden outgrew his food intolerance two years ago, I decided that I wanted to continue the clean eating. But I did allow prepackaged sweets in my pantry because I just didn't know how make some of them.

When I found Newman's Own cream filled chocolate cookies, I was super happy. They were dairy free, perfect for Brek's school lunch. But these cookies do have soy lecithin and corn starch. I had to put them away during Camden's recent food elimination diet.

Of course, Camden had to ask for these cookies. Just like everything else, I accepted the challenge and told him that I'd bake him some cream filled cookies.

At first, I found King Arthur Flour's Faux-Reos recipe in their cookbook. Then I found William Sonoma's chocolate star cookies on their website. Since I could use my dairy free chocolate frosting as the filling, I just needed a cookie dough recipe. I had good luck with William Sonoma's recipes, so I went ahead and tested their chocolate star cookie recipe.

As it turned out, my kids preferred the cookies without the fillings. The dough was super easy to make. Freeze well too. Well, I need to freeze the shaped cookie dough before baking them anyway. Because the palm shortening or coconut oil is in the dough, the frozen cookie dough keeps their shapes well when baked.

This cookie dough recipe makes a lot of cookies. I divided the dough in half. Use half of the dough and freeze the rest of the dough. I highly recommend that the cookie dough are precut into fun shapes before freezing them. When ready, just bake the cookies as directed, without thawing the dough. Always good to have a make-ahead something sweeter.

My kids luv helping me with the cookie shapes. Let's face it. Cookie cutters are F-U-N.

Cream Filled Cookies
adapted from William Sonoma's chocolate star cookies
makes a lot of cookies, depending on the size... freeze some precut unbaked cookies for future baking

1 large egg
8 Tablespoons (4 oz) palm shortening
1 cup (7.4 oz)  light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (7.3 oz) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1.5 oz) cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

chocolate frosting for creamy filling
  1. Place a parchment paper or nonstick mat on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, palm shortening, sugar, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, shift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  4. Using the hand mixer, mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
  5. Place the dough onto the nonstick mat and knead until the dough is shiny. NOTE: Sprinkle flour a little bit at the time to prevent sticking, but don't add too much flour that the dough becomes dry.
  6. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Cut the dough into desired shapes. TIP: To decorate the cookies, use a toothpick to draw a pattern or press a small cookie cutter half way into the shaped dough. Try sprinkle raw sugar on top of the cookies before freezing them.
  8. Using a thin spatula to transfer the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Freeze the cookie dough for 30 minutes. NOTE: The longer the freezing time, the better.
  10. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  11. Bake the cookies until crisp, about 8 minutes.
  12. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies onto the wiring rack to cool completely.
  13. If using, place the chocolate frosting on one cookie then sandwich it with another cookie. Enjoy!!!
STORING: Keep the cookies in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. Precut unbaked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: These chocolate cream filled cookies are free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legume (soy), nuts, and fish.

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