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Friday, September 6, 2013

Faux Fudge Rounds

This past weekend I was discussing the good old days of back to school with boyfriend and his parents (aka - the in laws).  We all came to the conclusion that I'm a big huge nerd and nobody likes me.  Why?  Because I loved, LOVED, going back to school in September.

I wasn't exactly counting down the days until we headed back to school.  I loved summer too.  It's just that I wasn't dreading those class filled days and homework packed nights.  I loved it all.  Back to school meant new clothes, fresh spiral notebooks and sharpening a box of number 2 pencils.  I always needed a new backpack.  Sure the one from last year was just fine, but it was all about starting fresh each year.

I have always enjoyed learning.  You'll still find me these days watching the Science channel, National Geographic, the Discovery Network and the odd documentary.  I started going to school when I was three years old and spent the next twenty-six years in the academic world. 

Now I see all my friends sending their kids off to school for the first time and I'm so excited for them.  Not everyone likes school (Boyfriend was in the "hating school" camp), but it's an important journey that I look forward to taking my own kids on, one day.

To celebrate the first week of school I made you and yours some school-inspired treats - Homemade Fudge Rounds!  Of course I bought a box of Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, for science purposes.  When I opened the box I was so surprised to discovery how tiny they are!  Even BF mentioned it when he went to enjoy one (also for science and comparison purposes).  We both remember getting the single fudge rounds from the store for 99 cents.  They were big!  And so are my faux fudge rounds.  Gigantic!  You may need to share.

One Year Ago: Coconut Milk & Thai Chili Sauce
Two Years Ago: Italian Sweet & Sour Chicken
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Pancakes

Faux Fudge Rounds
Cookies - A Wilde Original
Filling - adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

I made these cookies pretty large.  You can make smaller cookies by scooping out smaller blobs of cookie dough.  I used my trusty cookie scoop for the particularly large cookies.

For the Cookies

1/4 cup shortening
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks/16 tablespoons)
2 cups sugar
40 g (2 tablespoons) glucose
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups bread flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) beat together shortening and butter with sugar and glucose for 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat on high until fluffy and almost white.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.  Scoop out blobs of cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 ºF.  Line two more cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpats.  Arrange hardened cookie dough blobs about 2-inches apart on the baking sheets.  If baking smaller cookies, bake for 10-12 minutes.  If baking huge cookies, bake for 20-22 minutes.  Large cookies won't look completely cooked at this point, they will be all puffy.  Remove cookies from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the filling

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk

Beat together shortening and butter until smooth.  Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.  Scrape down the bowl and add salt, cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Stir on low until combined.  Add buttermilk and beat until light and fluffy.

Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cookies and sandwich together.  Top with a squiggle of melted chocolate (1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, melted together in the microwave).  Share one with a friend.
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