As promised, I’ve returned with the recipes for the Root Beer cookies. This recipe garnered the most responses I’ve received over on my other blog in a long while. Apparently, people like food, and LOVE sugar.
When I first read about the root bear float cookies on Culinary in the
Desert Country I was intrigued. I’m always looking for unique new ideas to play with. Some work out, some don’t (like my honey lavender biscotti); but even in failure I have fun.
The final cookie reminds me of a light and fluffy snickerdoodle, or at least the snickerdoodles I get from Noodles and Co. (Tasty!) The main difference being, of course, is that the cinnamon is replaced with a light root beer flavor provided by the crushed candies. I thought they needed more root beer flavor, but after testing them out on my army of culinary guinea pigs, I was told it was just right; too much more would over power the cookie, and more importantly, the enamel on your teeth.
The other mistake I made was stupidly putting the glaze on these cookies, but not refrigerating them afterwards, leaving a mess in my container. It was like try to peel your skin off a leather car seat during the height of summer. It wasn’t pretty. They were still tasty, but not pretty.
I wasn’t satisfied though. They were called Root Beer FLOAT Cookies, but I didn’t think they tasted ENOUGH like a root beer float. I started working on ideas. At first, I thought making a vanilla dip would work. People could simply dip the cookies into a bowl of creme to get that soda fountain taste. But what if you weren’t hosting a dinner where you could plate things properly? I needed to make the creme transportable. And the idea struck me. Sandwich cookies! They come FILLED with creme.
I scoured the internet for the type of recipe I was looking for, before settling on a simple one found on the Food Network website. After a three day process (due to my own time constrictions), the cookies were done. My culinary guinea pigs jumped at the chance to try these new cookies out, and I received all thumbs up from the crowd. I was told they were, at different times, “like an orgasm in my mouth” and “This is one step down from heroin!” One friend even asked what I was doing wasting my time at my current job when I could obviously be making a mint baking. There are days when I ask myself the same thing, but unless a bakery can get by only make 3 or 4 things, I haven’t gotten to a sellable point yet. But that’s neither here nor there. Onto the recipe!
Root Beer Float Sandwich Cookies (adapted from Culinary in the Desert)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 cup packed brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup finely crushed candy root beer barrels
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture and crushed candies.
Place dough in a bowl, and refrigerate or freeze overnight. You could probably just drop 1-2 tsp of dough onto the baking sheet as well, skipping this step entirely, but I was being meticulous, as I tend to do.
Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
When dough is still cold and firm, take half the dough and roll it out on flat surface until it’s 1/4 – 1/3 inches thick. I used a 1 1/2 inch square-shaped fondant cutter to guarantee uniformity*. Place cookies on a greased baking sheet, giving enough room for the squares to expand. Bake for 8-10 minutes. I baked mine for 8 to guarantee softness. While the first batch is baking, repeat the rolling and cutting for the second half of the dough. All told, you should get about 48 cookies out of the dough.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, but make sure they’re soft enough to cut with the fondant cutter again. Take each of the cookies, and press the fondant cutter into the middle, guaranteeing the uniformity we lost in the baking process. Allow the new squares to cool completely. You now have a 48 strong mini cookie army!
While making the creme, refrigerate or freeze the cookies, making them firmer for the construction process.
Put the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl. At low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until well blended. Turn the mixer up to high and beat for 2 or 3 minutes, until stiff, but fluffy. It make take more than 2 minutes. You be the judge.
Cut the tip off a pastry bag and pipe teaspoon size (or larger) blobs of filling onto the smooth bottoms of half the cookies. Keeping the smooth bottoms of the cookies facing up, flip the remaining cookies on top of the filling and lightly press to form the sandwiches.
Makes about 24 finished cookies.
* Don’t feel you need to use a square cookie cutter to get the job done. Hell, you can make two large cookies, fill those with frosting, write your suicide note, and die a happy person. Ladies? Looking for a bachelorette favor? Cut these into fun penis shapes! It’s really up to you.
Leave a comment if you make them. I’d like to see how your version turned out.