Thursday, 28 January 2016

Rhubarb & Custard Cookie Sandwiches

My lovely friend Emma Jane makes and sells bespoke cookie stamps over at Emma Jane's Bakery, and she was kind enough to give me some stamps to play with just before Christmas. Since then I've been developing a recipe for vegan sugar cookies that retain the imprint from the cookie stamps when baked, and now that I've perfected it, I'm finally ready to share it!

I've used custard powder as a binding agent in this recipe, which gives the biscuits a really lovely, subtle custard flavor. If you don't have custard powder or don't want to use it feel free to replace it with the same amount of cornflour for a delicious vanilla flavor sugar cookie.

I filled the cookies with a tangy rhubarb frosting, and sprinkled some crushed rhubarb and custard boiled sweets over the top before sandwiching them together. After all, rhubarb and custard are a classic flavor combination for a good reason!

Emma Jane offered to make a custom design stamp for me, and I chose a Dala Horse. As you can see, it turned out oh so perfect! Although I must admit that I'm head over heels in love with the 'for me, for you' stamp. As a mum I'm constantly having my food pinched by tiny toddler hands, so I loved that with these cookies I could break off a piece for Hal and the rest was MINE! Also, how perfect would the stamp be for Valentines Day? A romantic cookie for two, anyone?

Rhubarb & Custard Cookie Sandwiches
Makes 10 Cookie Sandwiches

For the cookies
1/2C + 1tsp vegan margarine
1/2C caster sugar
2 + 1/4C plain flour
2Tbsp vegan custard powder
4Tbsp soy or almond milk
1tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting
3Tbsp vegan buttery spread
3-4C powdered sugar
1tsp rhubarb flavoring
1/2tsp pink food coloring 
2-4tsp soy or almond milk

2 rhubarb and custard sweets, crushed (optional)

Line two large baking trays with grease proof paper and set aside.

Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but you could use a handheld electric whisk or do it by hand - make sure your margarine is nice and soft.) Add the vanilla, flour, custard powder and milk and mix on medium speed until it comes together to form a firm, pale dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and dust the top with flour also. Roll into an oval about 3mm thick and press the cookie stamps down nice and firmly, making sure to leave a strong imprint in the dough. Repeat, leaving a small gap between each one until you have covered the surface of the dough. Cut out your cookies using a floured cookie cutter (in a pinch a glass jar will do!) and carefully transfer them to the lined baking trays. Bring together the scraps of dough and work into a ball, you can then repeat the rolling, stamping and cutting process until you have 20 individual cookies.

Place the cookies in the fridge for an hour before baking at 175/350 for 10-12mins or until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Transfer the baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting cream together the buttery spread, rhubarb flavoring, pink coloring and one cup of the powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar and as much milk as needed until you have a smooth, thick, fluffy frosting. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a flower nozzle and seal at the top.

Once the cookies are cooled pipe frosting onto half of them, covering as much of the surface of the cookie as possible. Sprinkle over the crushed rhubarb and custard sweets and carefully place the other cookies on top. Press down gently - be careful not to press too hard or the frosting will squidge out.

Store the cookie sandwiches in an airtight container for up to a week.

Note: The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before using. This dough also makes fantastic individual sugar cookies for decorating with kids! We did this recently at a play date and it was great fun.

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