I gotta be honest with you, folks. It’s been a crazy few weeks. I just opened a new show last week (I’m playing the role of Tony Kirby in the classic comedy, You Can’t Take It With You), work has been a touch busy, I’ve been exercising every minute I can (down 35 pounds!), baking up various things, and to top it all off, I’ve been crazily assembling a costume together for Halloween festivities. Normally, I detest Halloween and shy away from participating, but when I am invited to a fun party and commit to a costume… well, I commit!
All of this madness being confessed, this week’s blog kind of snuck up on me, and here I am – typing it out rather quickly, finding myself unprepared with any clever repartee. Luckily, I made the recipe – Devil Dogs with Malted Buttercream Filling – around the beginning of September for my dear friend Donna’s 50th birthday, and I had the foresight to snap some photos, in anticipation this would be an especially busy time.
Those of you faithfully following my blog will recall my distaste for malt, so it was with my usual hesitation that I opened up the malt chapter again in Baked Elements to make these. I think those Baked boys are slowly bringing me around to malt, however! These tender, tempting, dark chocolate cake cookies, sandwiching a not-too-sweet, slight nutty (from the malt) buttercream are just right – and a fabulous crowd pleaser. One bite, and I found myself transported back to being a kid for whom those Hostess cupcakes, Ho-Hos, and Ding Dongs were the ultimate treat – though these are almost more elegant and ‘adult’, and definitely not as overly sugary as their counterparts. Surprisingly, the next time I make these (and I shall), I may even add a little more malt to the filling, as I felt it was a touch underplayed.
I had a fun time making the ‘dog bone’ shapes with my pastry bag as well. A good thing to keep in mind when making these: the recipe does advise to chill your dough, and I found it easiest to chill it right inside the pastry bag (rather than in the bowl). Make sure you let the pastry bag rest on your countertop for a little while after chilling it, as the dough is very thick when cold and difficult to pipe out. To make the dog bone shape, simply plan on piping out a thin strand of chocolate dough, but start and end the piping by applying a slight bit of pressure to the bag to pipe out a small ‘ball’ of dough, pulling back to the end, where you will form another small ball. Repeat with another strand right next to the first. Don’t overdo applying the pressure – the cookies definitely puff up during baking. If the dough forms a small, unattractive tip when you pull the bag away, simply tap it down with your finger, dampened with some water if need be.
Devil Dogs, like Black and White Cookies – which I also made for Donna’s party – are treats almost unique to/well known in New York State. With both Donna and I being native New Yorkers who now live in Wisconsin, I found it only fitting to make these for her surprise birthday party. Donna had also mentioned to me a while back that she had a fondness for Devil Dogs, and they were so difficult to find here. I was pleased to find that Baked had included a recipe for these in Baked Elements, providing me with the opportunity to bake them for her. It was fun sharing these New York-inspired goodies with our Wisconsin friends. Give these Devil Dogs a whirl by following this link:
…and please, check out the blogs of my fellow baking blog friends while you’re visiting the Baked Sunday Mornings page!
I promise a more interesting and newsy blog next time, friends! In the meantime, I hope feasting your eyes on these will suffice! Best to you.