With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cappuccino Chocolate Bites

I'm nowhere near perfect.  I never try to pretend to be.

Not all my days are filled with laughter and cookies and smiles (although most of them are).

This blog isn't about the bad days, the ones we all have.. the, "I just wanna pull the covers over my head and try again tomorrow" days.  This blog is about the fun days, the great people, and the awesome times.  But this blog is also about real life.

Therefore an alternate title to this post could easily be, "The blog post that took me 8 months to write."

I made these cookies way back in April for someone who, simply put, isn't in my life anymore.

And, you know what, that's ok.  

But this post... oh this post.  At first it was easy to push aside just because I had no idea what to say, and the longer it went unwritten, the easier it was to forget.

But then, just like they always do, those recipes that are too good not to share just keep coming back to me.  And that's when I realized forgetting, no matter how wonderful life is now, isn't real life. 

(And isn't fair to you guys, my readers, because these cookies are some of my favorites.)

Real life is remembering the cookies made in great times and but also the cookies made in not so great times too.  It's knowing there will be more tough roads ahead in life, but also that things will always find a way to get back to great again, someway somehow.

And seeing that, regardless, there will still always be more cookies to share.

In one month will be my one year of blogging.  Blogging at least once a week, every week, for an entire year.  And truthfully I'm not sure where the time has gone.  

In the days I celebrated birthdays, holidays, and spent random time with wonderful people.  In the days when I wasn't sure how in the world life was supposed to start fresh again... but whether I was ready or not, it did.

Baking, and you all, were here.

And looking back all I can say is, thank you.  I'm glad I made it.  I'm glad I'm here.  I'm glad I could share it all with you.  I'm glad I get the opportunity to look back and see how far I've come, and also how far I'd still like to go.  

I hope you stick around for more of the ride.  I think it's going to be a fun one.

Give these cookies a try, they certainly have been in the works long enough.  I have a sneaky feeling that they'll have been worth the wait.

Life is good.

Enjoy :)

Cappuccino Chocolate Bites

Servings: 1-2 dozen (depending on size of cutter)

For the cookies:
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the ganache:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2  1/2 oz milk chocolate (finely chopped)

(note: start cookies at least 40 min before you want to bake. start ganache at least 4 hrs before you want to serve.)
To make ganache, place finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and then pour over chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Place plastic wrap on top of bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs (or overnight).

To make cookies, in a medium bowl sift together flour, espresso, and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla.  With mixer on low, add in flour, stirring just until combined.  Pat dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 min.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Let dough stand at room temperature 5-10 min. Roll between two sheets of parchment to 1/8 inch thick (see first picture for visual guide to thickness).  Cut out rounds with a 1-inch circular cutter and space at least 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.  Bake until set (but not browned) approx 8-9 min, rotating the pan halfway through.  Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 min and then let cool completely on wire racks.  

Take ganache out of refrigerator and whisk to form soft peaks.  Transfer to a pastry bag and cut 1-inch off corner.  Pipe a small dollop of ganache on the bottoms of half of the cookies.  Top with the remaining cookies and press lightly to adhere.  Serve immediately or refrigerate in an air tight container for 1-2 days.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:  Martha Stewart's Cookies

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