Sunday, April 19, 2015

Charlevoix Cookies

One of the flavors in this recipe is maraschino cherry. In researching cherries, I found that the trees were first were planted by the French along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. That seaway reaches into the Great Lakes area from Canada.  Based on this tie, there are 2 areas called Charlevoix. The first is a town in the far northern area of Michigan and the other is in Quebec. While both are along water and offer fishing and plenty of hiking areas, the Canadian location has mountains along the seaway.

Now that the background of the name has been covered, lets get into the details of this petite sandwich cookie. The cookie part has the flavor of almond and it has a soft texture with a slight crunch of desiccated coconut and almond flour. For an even bigger pop of flavor, the bottoms of the cookies are dipped in chocolate and then sandwiched together with a maraschino cream.

They are small and are perfect for popping in your mouth whole. That way you get the full experience of all the textures and flavors. In addition, bigger cookies would be quite messy after one bite. If you like chocolate covered cherries, then you are reading the right post.

This recipe yields about a dozen sandwich cookies.

Charlevoix Cookies
by Flourtrader

1 stick or 1/2 cup butter
1 egg white
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup and 1 tbs powdered/confectioners sugar
1/4 cup and 1 tbs desiccated coconut
3/4 cup flour
2 tbs almond flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs maraschino juice

Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Also, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat the egg white into the batter, running the mixer on medium high for about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the coconut and almond extract for another 30 seconds. Set aside.

Using a separate bowl, sift together the regular flour and baking powder. Then whisk in the almond flour.  Fold the dry mixture into the wet batter, using a spatula. Scoop out the batter into rounded teaspoons and place each on the prepared baking sheet, about one inch apart. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway thru the baking process. Cookies are done when lightly browned on edges and bottom. Let cool completely on pan.

While the cookies are cooling, line 2 more baking sheets with parchment paper. Place in the freezer.  Set up a double boiler and fill top pot with chocolate. Place over medium high heat and stir occasionally until all the chocolate is melted. Take one of the baking sheets out of the freezer.

The chocolate coating process is the next step. Using a wooden spoon, scoop up some of the melted chocolate and then place a cookie on top of the chocolate, flat side down. Transfer to cold baking sheet by placing on the parchment paper, chocolate side down. Continue with the process until both baking sheets are full, placing each in the freezer when complete.

Next, prepare the filling by starting with creaming the butter and powdered sugar together. Once mixture is smooth beat in vanilla extract and maraschino juice. If the consistency is too thick, add more juice as needed.

Take out one baking sheet of cookies and match pairs together by size and shape.  Then sandwich each pair together with a few teaspoons of filling.

Tips and Notes:
1. Clear vanilla extract instead of dark will help retain the pink from the maraschino cherry juice, but you can add food coloring if you are unable to find clear vanilla extract.

2. The usage of the chocolate and filling is not an exact science, so some may be left over. The chocolate can be stored for later use. If you are concerned about excess filling, try halving the filling ingredients then see how far it goes when assembling the cookies.

3. The addition of the egg white results in a curdled looking batter, but that is normal.

Also, I did listen to an old song during my research into cherries. That oldie is called "Life is just a Bowl of Cherries". A nice reminder not to take things too seriously, laugh a little and enjoy it!
                                    **LAST YEAR:Minnies Chocolate Chip Supreme Cookies**