Friday, February 13, 2009

Sweet Strawberry Cookies with Chocolate Cream Filling

The first Valentine's Day that Joe and I spent as a couple was in 2001. I wasn't much of a baker at that time, but I still decided that I wanted to bake some cookies for Joe for Valentine's Day. I came across a recipe for some cookies called "pink pillows" that sounded simple to make and very tasty. It was the first time I'd ever tried to bake cookies without my mom's help.

Alas, because of my relative baking inexperience, I did not know about a little thing called "carry-over cooking." So when the 10 minutes were up and the cookies didn't look quite done, I just left them in the oven instead of taking them out to finish baking. I think I ended up baking one batch of cookies for 30 minutes. Ya'll, I was a novice.

I still remember Joe's face when he tried to bite into one of the cookies. (Yes, I still gave them to him. I knew the bottoms of the cookies were burnt to a crisp a little bit brown, but I thought they might still be all right.) But Joe could barely bite into them, they were so hard. When he finally got a bite off, I watched his face crinkle up as he mumbled, "They're delicious." I remember being so touched at his sweetness that I actually cried a little bit. Mostly, though, I think the tears were from sheer embarrassment.

Joe mentions those cookies every Valentine's Day and teases me about them mercilessly. I kept the recipe and I've been meaning to redeem myself for quite some time now. This year was the year.

To make the cookies more special, I decided to make little strawberry cookie sandwiches with chocolate cream filling in the middle. These cookies are such a sweet treat for Valentine's Day. These are very cakey cookies and don't spread when they're baking, so next time I think I'll flatten them before baking so they're not quite as thick. I do think they're awfully cute, though, as they are; they look like little scoops of strawberry ice cream. I doubled the cookie recipe, which gave me 25 cookie sandwiches.

I have officially redeemed myself. Joe loves these, and so do I. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Sweet Strawberry Cookies with Chocolate Cream Filling
Source: cookie recipe adapted from; chocolate cream filling recipe from Baking Delights

For the cookies:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Nestle Nesquik Strawberry Flavor Powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

For the filling:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ.

2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, Nesquik and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

4. While cookies are baking, prepare the filling. Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat in melted chocolate and sugar, scraping down the sides as needed. Place filling in a plastic bag; snip one corner of the bag.

5. Pipe the filling onto the bottom side of 25 cookies. Top with the other 25 cookies, pressing cookies together firmly to adhere filling. Refrigerate.


Donna-FFW said...

Cassie- What a sweet story. Great husband you have there:) Cookies look so pretty. We both made sandwich cookies. Great minds think alike, huh? Happy V-Day!

Sara said...

These look so good, and very festive too!

AnickH said...

wow those look so puffy and perfect! i luv puffy cookies