On occasion I’ve mentioned that I grew up eating too many pre-packaged supermarket desserts. As an adult I look back with a fair degree of mortification at my childhood dietary habits but let’s face it - nothing is too sweet, too sickening or too brightly colored for an 8 year old. Perhaps this at least partially explains my grown-up preoccupation with all things home-baked.
I must admit though, there is one supermarket cookie I’ve been craving for a bit too long - the Fudge Town cookie. The manufacturer, Burry, stopped making Fudge Town cookies years ago and I’ve missed them. For this reason, I decided to lock myself in the kitchen and not come out until I was able to reproduce the cookie and reproduce it I did. Humility aside, this cookie blows away the original. Think of it as a grown-up super fudge cookie. You are going to love them.
Of course, I couldn’t lock myself in the kitchen for too long without something to listen to and so I began listening to an audio book called Bright-Sided. It’s an interesting take on the wave of positive psychology that’s engulfed America. How can positive thinking be wrong, right?
We don’t often think of it this way but the selling of positive thinking is a profitable business in the United States. It’s become so pervasive and accepted that many of us don’t even question it when we’re told we should be grateful for and positive about some seriously ugly situations. Job loss? Illness? Trauma? Difficult home life? Be positive and it will get better. Don’t address or work to change the factors that caused the situation - you can overcome them.
Of course, it’s wonderful to feel positive and grateful. Who doesn’t like to be happy? But it’s not normal to feel that way all the time and frankly I’ve met a few people lately who almost seem to feel guilty about having any negative feelings at all. Sadly, a lot of people have something to gain by getting others to buy into this frequently dismissive approach to dealing with real issues and feelings.
Wow, all of that out of a couple of fudge cookies. Incredible. What’s you’re take on the subject? Positive? Negative? I myself prefer the full menu of emotions -accompanied by chocolate, of course.
Homemade Fudge Town Cookies
130 g unsalted butter, room temperature
145 g sugar
6 g vanilla
60 g. melted chocolate, cooled
135 g flour
85 g cocoa
1 g salt
6 g baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 C)
Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add melted chocolate and mix until just blended in. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add dry ingredients. Mix on low just until blended and the mixture begins to come together as a dough. Chill 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling.
35 g milk chocolate, melted
30 ml cream (about 1/8 c)
2 g corn syrup
90 g butter
10 g vegetable shortening
115 g powdered sugar
45 g cocoa powder
6 g vanilla
Melt chocolate. Heat cream and corn syrup. Pour into chocolate and mix to blend.
Cream butter and vegetable shortening. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add 6 g vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Beat. For sweeter filling and more powdered sugar. For less sweet filling add more cocoa powder. You want the filling to be thick and fudgy so that it doesn't smear around when you bite into the cookie. If you want it thicker, simply add more powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
Roll out dough on a Silpat to desired thickness and cut out shapes with your choice of cookie cutter. Place cookies on Silpat-lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Using knife, spread filling on one cookie, top with another cookie and press down gently until the filling reaches the edge.