SUGAR COOKIE SANDWICHES WITH CARDAMOM MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
MAKES 15 COOKIE SANDWICHES Active: 1 hr. 30 min. • Total: 10 hr. In many parts of the world, from Asia to the Americas, cardamom finds its way into cookies. While chocolate and cardamom are a less traditional pairing, the creamy dairy notes of high-quality milk chocolate make it a natural match for the spice’s fragrant, slightly minty notes. Once it’s well-chilled and whipped, this loose ganache takes on a consistency similar to airy chocolate buttercream. Since the ganache will firm up after filling—and help soften the cookies to a just-right consistency—resist eating these sandwiches until they’ve had a few hours to set in the fridge. FOR THE GANACHE: 1½ cups heavy cream 5 green cardamom pods, cracked open with a knife or in a mortar and pestle 7 oz. high-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped (1½ cups)
FOR THE COOKIES: 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour 2½ tsp. baking powder 1¾ tsp. kosher salt 8 oz. (16 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened 1½ cups sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 In a small pot, add the cream and cardamom pods; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
2 Set a fine mesh strainer over a heat-resistant medium bowl. Strain the cream, pressing on
the cardamom pods to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the cream to the pot. Place the chocolate in the bowl and set aside.
3 Set the pot of cream back on the stove over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let rest for 5 minutes. Set a fine mesh strainer over a glass measuring cup. Whisk the chocolate mixture until fully smooth and pass through the strainer, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
4 In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder, then stir in the salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat, scraping down the bowl and paddle once or twice, until combined. Turn down the mixer to low speed, add the flour mixture, and continue mixing until a homogenous dough forms (do not overmix). 5 Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, press into an inch-thick layer, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week before baking.
6 When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
7 Divide the dough into 2-tablespoon scoops (you should have 30 total). Roll each into a ball and stagger them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 3 inches between them. If they do not all fit on 2 sheets, refrigerate the remaining balls and bake in batches.
8 Bake the cookies, rotating the pans on the racks once halfway through baking, until they are puffed slightly and lightly golden at the edges but still soft, 11–14 minutes. Remove and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets. If baking a second round of dough, be sure the baking sheets are cooled to room temperature before adding the next batch.
9 When the cookies are fully cooled, finish the ganache: Transfer the chocolate mixture to the chilled bowl of the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the ganache on medium speed until it is thickened and holds soft peaks, 20–30 seconds . On onehalf of the total sugar cookies, pipe or spoon 2 tablespoons of the ganache. Top each with another cookie to form a sandwich. Refrigerate the cookies in a single layer until the ganache is firm, 1 hour. Serve, or transfer to an airtight container and serve within 3 days.