Perfection is an unrealistic goal, and yet so many blogs attempt to achieve just that. Guilty of that precise crime, it’s difficult to decide what should make the cut when it comes time to make the next post. Should an unreliable recipe go live, potentially frustrating curious readers? Never; that would be an unpardonable offense. But what about the blurry line separating good from great? Should a nice recipe be dumped just because it isn’t quite “perfect”?
Life is quite messy itself, so it only seems fitting to allow a few messier creations in as well. Take for example, cookies that baked up like a dream, with a fantastic chewy texture and sophisticated bitter cocoa flavor, sandwiched together with blueberry creme acting as the luminous violet glue. Summery yet not incapable of bridging the seasonal gap, crowd-pleasing, and an all around delight. The problem? They suffer a bit from ugly duckling syndrome.
You see, it’s mostly the filling that I take issue with. It looks grainy, even curdled in photos, despite tasting silky-smooth on the tongue. Should such a blemish be allowed to go live, presented as the desired outcome? Does one small imperfection ruin a whole recipe? At the end of the day, would you blog about it?
I think my response goes without saying.
Black and Blueberry Sandwich Cookies
Black Cocoa Cookies:
10 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Margarine
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoon Flax Seeds, Ground
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Black Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Plain Non-Dairy Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blueberry Creme Filling:
4 Ounces Vegan White Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Blueberries, Fresh or Frozen and Thawed
1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer or food processor, cream together the margarine and sugar thoroughly, until homogeneous and fluffy. Add the ground flax seeds, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and mix until mostly incorporated. The dough will be too dry to fully come together, so add in the “milk” and vanilla, and mix once more to combine and create a smooth, cohesive batter.
Scoop out 3 tablespoons or so of dough per cookie, and flatten them just slightly on the baking sheet. Be sure to space them 1 1/2 – 2 inches apart, because they really spread as they bake; arrange no more than 9 cookies per sheet.
Bake for 10 – 13 minutes, until the edges are set and the cookies look barely puffy in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets for 10 more minutes before sliding the silpat or sheet of parchment onto a cooler surface. Allow them to fully cool before applying the filling.
To make the blueberry creme, first melt the while chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave. If microwaving, heat at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between, to ensure that it doesn’t burn. White chocolate can be very temperamental, so keep a close eye on it.
Toss the berries into your blender or food processor, and completely puree. Strain the juice directly into the melted white chocolate and discard the pulp and seeds remaining. Stir thoroughly, reheating gently as necessary if the chocolate beings to solidify or seize. Once smooth, chill the mixture for at least an hour, until cold to the touch and thickened.
Beat the margarine and confectioner’s sugar together in your stand mixer before adding the chilled blueberry mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is getting incorporated, and whip on high speed for about 5 minutes, until there are no remaining chunks of margarine and the filling only appears to be vaguely grainy. Apply the filling to one cookie, and top it off with a second. Repeat with remaining cookies.
The sandwich cookies keep well at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for approximately four days, or in the fridge for seven to eight. Better yet, for this summer heat, stash them in the freezer for up to a month, and you can snack on them while they’re still a bit frosty!
Makes About 14 Large Cookies; 7 Large Sandwich Cookies