Friday, July 11, 2008

New Wave Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Figs, at last.

My love of figs and goat cheese as well as the friendly pairing of chocolate with either one of these ingredients led me to the idea for this cookie. Summer always presents the best of farm fresh figs and fresh artisan goat cheese and I know chocolate is a natural with both, so I went with it. It's kind of a sublime fruity San Francisco Oreo without the super sweet glut.

I start with a basic chocolate cookie that has a crisp texture and a deep cocoa flavor. I add a layer of goat cheese that has been sweetened with just enough honey to balance its acidity with the cocoa. Then I slather a fresh fig jam that bridges the two in a way that seems like a very perfect sum of its parts. If you love these ingredients separately, you’ll certainly love this trifecta. All the elements are in perfect harmony.

These cookies would make a great end to a very simple and light summer meal that draws on the strands of the freshest summer ingredients. They are a celebration of the gorgeousness of figs at this moment of the season in my region. I hope you’ll have the curiosity to try them and the inclination to share them with your very best friend.

Bench notes:
- You can toss in another flavor to the fig jam if you wish. I sometimes add a teaspoon or two of rosemary simple syrup in place of the sugar. Or you can try a lavender syrup or crushed anise seed in small amounts. I’ve also added a twist of black pepper right before I sandwich the cookies. Just be sure to keep it simple and let the figs shine through.
- I originally made these cookies with chocolate macarons parisienne. Although I thought the almond flavor was a nice complement, I found them too sweet. So I prefer these chocolate cookies for their deep cocoa flavor and their just-perfect level of sweetness and earthiness.
- Serve these cookies immediately. If allowed to sit for more than an hour or so, the cookie will become soft. This may be desired or not. It’s up to you.

Fig & Goat Cheese Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 20 sandwich cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 40 cookies

6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) butter @ room temperature
1 C sugar
1 egg @ room temperature
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour (7 1/2 oz)
3/4 C cocoa, sifted (2 oz)
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Sift cocoa and spoon into measuring cup to get 3/4 C or 2 oz.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

Beat butter and sugar together for 2 – 3 minutes until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Add dry ingredients on low speed and mix for about a 1/2 minute or so, just until combined. Divide dough into two parts and place each on a piece of parchment paper. Gather the dough and form into 12” x 1 1/2“ logs, rolling up in the parchment paper. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and freeze.

To bake, preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Slice dough into thin 1/4” cookies and bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Fig Jam

1 pint of fresh figs
2 – 3 T water
2 T sugar, to taste
1 t raspberry jam

Chop the figs and place in a saucepan with the water, sugar and raspberry jam. Cook on low heat until the figs are soft and juicy, stirring to prevent scorching. Pull off the heat and adjust sweetness. Cool.

Goat Cheese Filling

6 oz goat cheese or chevre @ room temperature
1 – 2 t honey, to taste

Combine the goat cheese and the honey and stir until completely blended.

Assembly: Spread a thin layer of goat cheese filling on a cookie. Top with some fig jam. Finish with a second chocolate cookie. Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

For goat cheese indeed
I do not give a fig, yet
This dessert draws me.

Anonymous said...

(allergies, you know.)

Helene said...

I love everything in these cookies, goat cheese and figs are wonderful together but then add chocolate and this is magic!!

Anonymous said...

My mouth imagines
your figs, cheese & chocolate
Gourmet Whoopie Pies

Bonbon Oiseau said...

what a beautiful recipe--i love the combination of figs and goat cheese but especially the idea for a light and not too sweet dessert in summer.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

fabulous gayle! I can't wait to get my hands on some figs soon... this is sooo good!!

Y said...

Sounds like my kind of sandwich, especially with the twist of pepper and the flavoured syrup in the jam, and I love that colour contrast too.

liz song mandell said...

oh wonderful...this looks just delightful!!

in terms of the picture, i like that you used that purple/magenta color for background. it would've been nice to see a few sprigs of green or yellow. :)

can't wait till your next creation.

shakti space designs said...

Made these for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party today. They were well received, but beat out by the very, very sweet,traditional cookies. Booo. I adored these, and think they'd be fantastic with a nice Rioja or Pinot Noir. Mmmm. So glad I found your blog searching for unusual cookies.

marco island said...

I baked some for my family during Thanksgiving. They enjoyed it. I'm planning to share the recipe to other relatives so they can taste how delicious it is.

nautical decor said...

Now, I have something new to serve my guests in my cocktail party this weekend. Thanks for sharing.