(Featured Recipe: Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Ganache)
Whether you’re planning something special with your significant other on Valentine’s Day or if you’re single and treating yourself to something special like a day to relax and pamper yourself– then why not make the day all the more interesting and exciting by heading into the kitchen...and to make it exceptional indeed then add CHOCOLATE to the mix!
Changing Things Up
If you’d like to change things up a bit on Valentine’s Day, then I would suggest having some fun in the kitchen. Not only is it fun preparing meals together as a couple, but also there are considerable benefits to doing so. In the Have Your Chocolate And Eat It Too post, I shared some of the benefits of preparing your own meals- such as being able to control what goes into your food, which in turn allows you to control what goes into your body. It also can be very therapeutic. I find this to be true whether I’m preparing foods solo or with others. In an article titled “A Road to Mental Health Through the Kitchen,” The Wall Street Journal reports that “some health-care clinics and counselors are using cooking or baking as therapy tools for people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental-health problems.”
Perks of Togetherness in the Kitchen
Preparing foods together is a great way to fortify the relationship bond. Your experience with cooking or baking alongside each other may go a little like this: She passes him the rosemary…he passes her the fresh minced garlic. As they dice, stir and measure ingredients, the chemistry between the two begins to build. They converse, laugh and bump into each other as they make their way around the kitchen. If you’d like to add to this story by sharing your own unique kitchen experience then feel free to do so in the comment section. Also, I probably should point out that you might want to skip the garlic on Valentine’s Day.
If You Want to Strengthen Your Relationship, Start in the Kitchen by Jaime Buergeris (and featured on The Knot) explains some of the perks of time spent together in the kitchen. I truly hope you and yours enjoy lots of flirtation and togetherness in the kitchen while concocting a delicious savory dish for two or a shared mouth-watering, decadent dessert. And since I’m the simple chocolatier, of course I recommend you try your hands at a simple-to-make, captivating chocolate dessert.
Captivate the Senses with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Filling a confection with dark chocolate ganache or pouring melted ganache over it will turn it into an exceptional, first-rate dessert that’ll definitely captivate the senses. You’ll have the type of euphoric chocolate dessert experience that you won’t soon forget.
This month I feature the recipe for Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Ganache. If you’d like to fancy it up a bit for Valentine’s, I would suggest stacking two of the cookie sandwiches together and pouring melted ganache over the top, allowing it to spill over then topping it with edible flowers (please be aware if using edible flowers as a garnish), chocolate-dipped fruit, candied fruit, berries, mint leaves, chocolate hearts, white chocolate curls, whipped topping, truffles, or a scoop of ice-cream.
The variations of this recipe include Gluten Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches, Grain Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches,Grain Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches and Heart-Shaped Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches.
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! J
|CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE SANDWICHES WITH GANACHE
Recipe By Shirell Dalton, The Simple Chocolatier
Active Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 7 minutes
Yields 10 cookie sandwiches
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 cups coconut sugar (or use 1/2 cup for a slightly less sweet taste) – see note below
2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa (or use raw cacao)
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla
1/2 cup of good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dark Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup of good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (or use coconut cream) – see note below
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon honey (or light corn syrup)
|Note: I’m a big believer in using quality (and affordably priced) ingredients in order to make quality desserts and other foods. My product recommendations are Madhava Naturally Sweet Organic Coconut Sugar and So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk- Original. Pure cane sugar can be used as an alternative for the coconut sugar. I recommend Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar (unrefined).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, oil, coconut sugar and cocoa (or raw cacao). Add the large egg plus egg yolk and vanilla then mix well. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Pour into mixture. Also add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until combined. Chill the cookie mixture until firm. Measure 2 tablespoonfuls of cookie mixture for each portion and roll into balls. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 6-7 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove from oven. Once the cookies have cooled, use a small spatula and spread softened Dark Chocolate Ganache on the bottom of one cookie then top with a second cookie (bottom side down). Repeat these steps to make the cookie sandwiches.
To make the Dark Chocolate Ganache– Pour the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips into a medium–size heatproof bowl. Place bowl aside. In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter and honey. Bring to a light boil over medium heat. Remove the cream mixture from the heat, and pour over the chocolate chips. Gently swirl the bowl to cover the chocolate completely with the cream. Slowly whisk until the chocolate chips melt. Tightly wrap and freeze any unused portion for up to 3 months.
Gluten Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches – Replace the all-purpose flour with 3/4 cups of gluten-free flour. I recommend Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.
Grain Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches – Replace the all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. Bake for approximately 6 minutes.
Grain Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches – For this recipe, use 1/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil (also can try using a combination of both), 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao, 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup natural peanut butter, 5 tablespoons coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla, 1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake for approximately 6 minutes.
Heart-Shaped Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches – Roll or press the cookie mixture between two sheets of parchment paper to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Use a large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. OPTIONAL- Use a smaller heart-shaped cutter to form the center part of the cookies once the cookies are removed from the oven. After the cookies have cooled, spread ganache or melted chocolate onto the center heart-shaped pattern of each cookie.
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