Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fudge Stripe Cookies

Fudge stripe cookies are one of those store-bought cookies that immediately fill me with tons and tons of nostalgia.  In general, I found all supermarket cookies (and homemade cookies, I guess) to be incredibly special treats to be rewarded with, simply because when I was growing up, my mom just didn't buy store-bought cookies very often.  She said they were "unhealthy," which I guess is unfortunately true.  This isn't to say that I lived a childhood free from Oreo's though. She didn't buy Oreo cookies and Chips Ahoy cookies very often, but she bought them just enough so that my sister and I didn't have a completely cookie-deprived childhood.  We knew which were the "good" cookies and which were the "bad" cookies, and we knew just enough to keep up with our fellow cookie-eating schoolmates.  For the most part though, we had Little Bites blueberry and chocolate chip muffins and brownies to go with our sandwich and fresh fruit lunches.  I'm not exactly sure how those made the cut over cookies (not that I'm complaining, because I STILL love Little Bites snacks), but I knew that if I wanted cookies, I had to have them somewhere that wasn't my house.



Since my mom didn't buy us cookies, my sister and I would go nuts eating cookies at my aunt's house...my aunt's house in Colombia.  You see, my parents would send my sister and I off to Colombia to spend our entire summer vacations at my aunt's house.  We have lots of cousins, but since they're older than us, the age difference was really noticeable when we were younger (they were either in college or you know, had real jobs when we were in elementary school).  This didn't matter to me and my sister though, because we knew that my aunt's house meant having the chance to do all kinds of awesome things.  Awesome things like watching Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.  Yup.  I was one of those kids who grew up watching only public television and thinking that Arthur was just about the coolest show ever (something I still believe) because according to my parents, cable television is evil and rots your brain (something I don't necessarily deny now).  It didn't matter that all the television shows were dubbed over in Spanish or were a few seasons behind or were replaced with Latin-American versions of the show.  What mattered was that I knew who the Powerpuff girls and the Wild Thornberry's were.  What also mattered was that we got to eat cookies, and lots of them.   



My aunt's kitchen had cabinet where she kept all the "junk food."  Chips, snacks, and cookies of all kinds were in that cabinet, and what was great was that there were both Colombian snacks, and American snacks!  It was really great because my uncle and two of my cousins are pilots, so they would often travel to the US for work and would bring back cookies and snacks.  In turn, this meant that my sister and I would get to enjoy all the cookies and other snacks that we were often denied at home.  Who would have thought that I'd learn all about American cookies and junk food in Colombia?  Anyway, out of all the "Gringo" snacks at my aunt's house, the Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies were my absolute favorite.  I loved sneaking over to that cabinet in search of some fudge striped cookies.  I had a little ritual for eating the cookies.  I would start out by first eating a cookie by placing my index finger through the hole in the middle, and I would then eat around the edge of the cookie.  Once the first cookie had been consumed, I would repeat that same process on the second cookie.  When I was ready for my third and final cookie, I would just eat it straight up, mostly because it was faster and I needed my cookie satisfaction immediately.  I had the sudden urge to re-live this cookie experience just this past weekend, and I was so happy when I found a recipe for a homemade version!



I was pleasantly surprised when I found out just how simple the recipe for fudge stripe cookies really is.  I mean, it didn't seem like it should be overly complicated when you think about it, right?  The fudge stripe cookie is nothing more than a simple shortbread like cookie that gets dipped in chocolate and then has chocolate stripes drizzled over it.  Sounds easy peasy, and this recipe certainly is! The recipe only uses up a handful of ingredients and it comes together in a matter of seconds.  All you have to do is mix together a little flour, baking soda, oil (or clarified butter), corn syrup, and vanilla extract into a simple cookie dough.  The dough gets refrigerated for about a half hour or so, and is then rolled out into a thin sheet.  Rounds of cookies are cut, and then a smaller round is cut out from the middle.  I knew that the middle hole had to be big enough to fit my index finger, so to get the sizing right, I simply tested out a variety of circular cutters to see what felt right.  I ended up determining that the larger end of a pastry tip was the perfect size!  It was just big enough that I would be able to slip the cookie ring over my finger.  Once the cookies are baked, their bottoms get dipped in a thin coating of melted chocolate, and once that coating has set, their signature fudge stripes get drizzled on top.  



I was pretty thrilled with how these cookies came out.  They had the look and feel of the original Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies that I grew up eating during my summer vacations.  My mom happened to really like them, and then she said something that I found really funny.  She asked if I remembered how she would buy me and my sister those cookies when we were younger...to which I just had to laugh, because I don't remember my mom ever buying us fudge stripe cookies!  My sister confirmed this, and my mom just rolled her eyes at us.  I guess that now that I have this homemade recipe for fudge stripe cookies, it doesn't really matter whether or not my mom bought us the cookies when we were younger.  I can make a version that's equally good, if not better, all on my own!

Fudge Stripe Cookies
recipe from Annie's Eats

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup clarified butter or canola oil (I used canola oil)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 

Directions



In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and baking soda and stir briefly on low speed to combine.  Add in the corn syrup, oil (or butter), and vanilla extract, and mix just until a dough comes together.  Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  




While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.  Once on the baking sheet, use the larger end of a pastry tip to cut out a small hole from the center (doing this while the cookie rounds are already on the baking sheet will ensure that they stay perfectly round).  Gather all the scraps, roll out the dough again, and cut out more cookies, repeating until all the dough has been used.  Poke the cookies lightly with the tines of a fork, and then bake until the cookies are a pale golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely.




Once the cookies are completely cool, melt the chopped semisweet chocolate in a double boiler.  Working with one cookie at a time, dip the bottom of the cookie into the melted chocolate and remove any excess chocolate by running the bottom of the cookie against the side of the bowl, so that you are left with a thin layer of chocolate.  Place the cookie back on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper, chocolate side up.  Repeat with the remaining cookies.  Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to set the chocolate (about 10 minutes or so).  Once the chocolate has set transfer the remaining chocolate to a small plastic Ziploc bag.  Snip off a tiny bit from one of the corners to create a makeshift piping bag.  Pipe stripes of chocolate all over the tops of the cookies.  Let the cookies set for another ten minutes in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!




Cookies made with untempered chocolate, like these, should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 


Makes about 2 dozen cookies

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