31 October 2019

BLUEBERRY WINE CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES

Sandwich cookies are all-time favourites for many, especially with a tall glass of cold milk, or a cup of piping hot coffee. And shortbread cookies are incredibly easy to make, ever-popular, yet so very delicious. Moreover, they are even better when sandwiched with a flavourful filling.
Blueberry wine is an incredibly aromatic, intense wine, perfect for desserts. It is slowly cooked down into a wonderful syrup, and mixed with butter and icing sugar into a delightful filling of such a striking colour.
One important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the cocoa powder. The higher the cocoa quality, the better the cookies. It gives them a deep, almost bitter chocolate flavour.


Ingredients
For the chocolate cookies
125 grams unsalted butter, cold
100 grams plain flour
50 grams icing sugar
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
10 grams cornflour
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the blueberry wine filling
125 grams unsalted butter, soft
100 grams icing sugar, sifted
200 ml blueberry wine
30 ml double cream, if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
gel food colouring, as desired


Preparation
Dice the butter into cubes, and place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. While the butter is being chilled, sift together the flour, icing sugar, cornflour, and the cocoa powder twice, and tip them in into a large bowl. Add in the butter cubes and cut them into the dry ingredients. Once all of the butter is cut into the tiniest of pieces, add in the vanilla, and knead the dough with your hands until it comes together. It will be a tad sticky, but that is fine. Once it is formed, cover it in cling film, shape it into a disk, and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour.
While the dough is being chilled, prepare the reduction for the filling. Take a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and pour in the blueberry wine. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and let it cook and reduce to a quarter of its original volume. Cook, stirring occasionally, checking that it does not burn, until you have a somewhat runny syrup. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour the syrup into a new bowl, so it chills down quickly. Once cool, it will thicken up significantly.
By then, the dough will be chilled and ready. Lightly flour a surface, roll it out to about 5 millimetres, and cut out round little cookies, about 3 centimetres in diameter. Gently transfer them to a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and bake them immediately, in a preheated oven, at 180°C, for about 8-10 minutes. They will be fragrant and slightly soft when baked. Be careful so they do not burn, because they are thin. Let them cool down on the baking sheet.
While the cookies are cooling, make the buttercream filling. Place the soft butter into a large bowl, and whip it with an electric mixer on high, for 3-5 minutes, until light in colour. Add in half of the sifted icing sugar, beat for another minute or so, and then pour in the wine reduction. Blend really well, then add the vanilla and the rest of the icing sugar, and whip on the highest speed for about 5 minutes. If needed, add a splash of cream, and the food colouring as desired. Arrange half of the cookies on a serving tray; pipe a generous swirl of the filling on each of them, then top with the remaining cookies. Best served the next day. Yields 16 sandwich cookies.

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