Back in November, I found a recipe for Hazelnut Polvorones- which are similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies-but this recipe contained no flour. Instead, it called for all cornstarch -which produced this amazing melt-in-your-mouth quality. But I wanted to work with other nuts and flavorings, so I started making variants. After consistent trial and error, I came up with a successful recipe for Maple Pecan and Lemon Pecan Polvorones, and finally, for Pistachio Green Tea Polvorones. Because the experiments sometimes came out too crumbly, I substituted a little flour for cornstarch, to give a little more structure to the dough. I liked the texture and shape of these green tea cookies, and the robustness of the green tea flavor, but they were a little lacking in sweetness................ And then I had this idea>> maybe I could make a filling of green tea truffle (with white chocolate) to add a bit of sweetness and a surprising texture.......
Fun idea, but how to not lose the truffle filling through melting, pushing and leaking
through the wall of the cookie ? Well, after 3 months of experimenting, I can now say , "I think I've got it!"
For the truffle filling, I knew that the normal ratio of 1 to 1 cream to chocolate- would be too meltable, so I used less cream than white chocolate, froze small tsp size truffle balls, inserted one in each cookie dough ball, froze the balls and then baked them frozen. Yesssssss!!Hoorah!!! It worked. So now you bite into this small melt-in-your-mouth, crumbly cookie, but then your teeth get to the creamy chewy bit (the truffle melds with the cookie dough at the center )with just enough sweetness to complement the lesser sweetness of the cookie.The truffle filling does make the cookie more labor intensive, but you can always omit it and add a bit more sugar to the cookie dough.
This basic recipe is not a flexible one in one respect. If you omit the brandy
(yes, only 2 T.!) the cookies fall apart when you try to remove them from the cookie sheet! Who would think 2T. of liquid would make such a huge difference? But it does.
And I finally figured out why. That 2T is needed to bond the dough together, to give the cookies structure, as in a pie crust dough. I haven't tried substituting any other liquid for brandy, but I would think orange juice or bourbon might work in its place. In my experiments, I also found that chilling helps with 2 steps: chilling the dough makes it easier to form the balls without them getting greasy; and freezing the filled balls before baking- results in a cookie that has a nice domed shape rather than a flat one, with a filling that does not leak out.
—LE BEC FIN