I don’t do a lot of baking for Halloween. I *like* Halloween, and if I had more occasion to do so, I’d come up with some creepy ideas for sweet snacks, but as one can’t hand out homemade cookies to trick-or-treaters, I usually just limit my baking to one thing. This year, it’s these sandwich cookies. I used one of those imprinting rolling pins which didn’t work particularly well, but c’est la vie. Next time I will skip the baking powder in the dough. They taste great though.
PS: I think that the skulls look a little like Star Wars Storm Troopers, but I might just be imagining things.
for the cookies
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the Filing
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
To make the skull imprints on the cookies, you will also need a special rolling pin like this one.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. In the work bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. For the last roll, use the imprinting rolling pin. Cut with a round cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from losing the skull imprints and losing their shape while baking. Bake cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling
To make the filing, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use; do not chill. Spread filling over the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.