I was really inspired by this challenge. When I was growing up, our Passover desserts consisted of boxed Manishevitz cakes, or as I like to say, cardboard with chocolate icing. To this day, I can't stand desserts with matzo meal as the base. So I've been having a great time inventing macaroons that I can bring anywhere during Passover. These are chocolate cookies with a buttercream filling. I guess they wouldn't work in a strictly observant home because of the butter. (At least after dinner. But as a snack with a big glass of milk...heaven.) You can alter the buttercream to your taste. Flavor it with orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon ...whatever you're in the mood for. —drbabs
egg whites, room temperature
generous pinch of kosher salt
unsweetened cocoa powder
espresso powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon of hot water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
confectioner's sugar (adjusted to taste for sweetness)
pinch of kosher salt
almond extract (optional)
orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon, or any other flavor of your choice (optional)
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt till stiff peaks form.
Beat in sugar till mixture is white, shiny and stiff, but not dry.
Gently fold in almond meal, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, almond extract and espresso. Mix till thoroughly blended.
Use 2 teaspoons to drop dough onto cookie sheets. Scoop with one spoon and scrape off with the other. Place them about 1-1 1/2 inches apart. Try to make them all about the same size. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350.
Arrange 2 oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds. Bake the cookies at 350 for 10 minutes. The tops should be dry and the cookies should still be soft. Turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Cool cookies on wire racks. Gently remove the cookies from the parchment.
Beat the butter, sugar and salt till smooth. Add vanilla and almond extracts (and other flavors) and beat on high speed till ingredients are blended, smooth and have the consistency of icing.
Spread buttercream evenly on flat side of one cookie and top with another cookie of equal size. Do this with all the cookies.
Serve with milk. Vanilla ice cream. Good coffee. Enjoy.