ok as soon as i posted monday’s hotdish, it started to actually warm up outside and morph into spring, signified by the fact that nobody who came over this week needed assistance in the can i take your coat realm. which is a great relief because despite the fact that we’ve lived in our house for almost three years now, we’ve yet to nail down this choreography and half of the time the coats go directly from our guests’ bodies to eggboy’s arms to a hopeful pile on the couch. or a random closet on the other side of the house, or on the homemade hooks halfway down the cave to our basement if it’s not completely filled up with parkas and coveralls. there’s just a lack of space in our welcome area (or maybe an overabundance of shoes?) and the routine is that guests come in, they see this whale drawing, and in a single file they filter through a tunnel to the light and smell of the kitchen at which point eggboy shimmies in to take the coats but then that's the furthest we've rehearsed and it's nearly impossible to predict where the coats go from there.
(apologies in advance for the wrinkles on your coats.)
but the point is i know it's spring because we've gone a week without going through that mishegas.
spring also showed itself this week at night when we sat down to finally finish the last episode of this is us and it was still broad daylight. ughghgggggh. on the plus side (!), longer days mean that macaroni’s egg production is through the roof and i’ve got matzo, so i’ve been jumping the gun on matzo brei and it feels gr8.
other than observing spring, this week has included a great big mashup of things: cake baking, cake photographing, brisket over-salting, yogurt testing, meeting for the new town food truck logo, shooting with chantell and brett, planning fargo passover (you’re all invited!! details tbd) and preparing for the cherry bombe jubilee (you’re also all invited!! tickets are still available for their marketplace where i'll be signing motr!). and tomorrow morning i’m driving to fargo to make springtime desserts on north dakota today! i’m excited! i’ll be demoing the little rosemary planter cakes from motr, toasted coconut bird’s nest cupcakes, and these here oreos with pretty pastel fillings that are all naturally colored! here are the colorings that i used:
pink: ground freeze dried berries. berry purée would also work (directions here), but i had fun this time experimenting with freeze dried berries because they make the frosting a little speckled and also the flavor comes through a bit stronger. you could also use a bit of beet juice!
yellow: orange juice and zest + the tiiiiiiiniest bit of turmeric. too much turmeric makes it taste like turmeric, which isn’t good for buttercream, and the color gets kind of neon-y yellow. so when adding your turmeric, add the smallest amount possible and then increase from there if you want more color.
makes 18 cookies
for the cookies:
2 c flour
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
for the filling:
1 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c powdered sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp matcha powder
2 tsp finely crushed freeze dried raspberries or strawberries
zest and juice of an orange
a tiny pinch of turmeric
to make the cookies: preheat the oven to 325ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. mix in the vanilla extract. with the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. it will still be a bit crumbly. pour the mixture onto a work surface and give it a few kneads to bring it all together. divide in half, shape into flat discs, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour (or up to two days).
lightly dust your surface and the top of the dough with cocoa powder. roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out 2 1/2 inch rounds. transfer them to the baking sheets, 1 inch apart (using a small offset spatula helps with this step). re-roll the scraps and cut out more rounds.
bake the cookies until the tops are no longer shiny, about 20 minutes. cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
to make the filling: with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until combined.
divide the frosting equally into three small bowls. add the matcha to one, the berries to another, and the orange and turmeric to the other and stir to combine.
fill piping bags with each of the three frostings. place half of the cookies on a plate or work surface. pipe a blob of filling onto the tops of each of these cookies and then place another cookie on top, pressing slightly.
refrigerate for a few minutes to allow the filling to firm up. enjoy! store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.