Last year on September 20, I met Dorothy from Crazy for Crust. Now, before you think I’m incredibly creepy for remembering the date… It was the day before her birthday, and since she posts something sweet every year on her blog to celebrate, it’s pretty easy to visit those posts to jog my memory!
But anyway… It was the most exciting thing that happened that entire month because it was the first time I had ever met a fellow food blogger in real life!
After realizing that we only lived about 40 minutes apart, we picked a Panera halfway between and scheduled a lunch date to get away form the mountains of dishes and millions of sprinkles strewn across our kitchen countertops.
After a few hours of laughing and talking, right before we cleared our dishes to leave, we talked a bit about cookbooks and how incredible it’d be to write one. Less than two months later, Dorothy signed her first contract! (With the cutest pen ever, I might add.)
Over the next couple of months, she baked, tested, wrote, and photographed her entire cookbook, Dessert Mash-Ups, all by herself! The whole time, she continued to publish regular blog posts and still commented and shared other bloggers’ recipes too. I swear, Dorothy must not have gotten a single minute of sleep… I have no clue how she did it, but she’s one of my biggest role models for succeeding and staying sane throughout it all!
When her cookbook came out last month, she invited her friends, family, and a few of us local food bloggers to a launch party, where she baked a few treats from her cookbook and signed copies for us.
Oh my GOODNESS GRACIOUS you guys… Her Truffle-Topped Brownies stole the show! I ate three while chatting at her house, then snuck another six to take home—and I didn’t share a single one. They were literally the BEST chocolate dessert I’ve had in years!
It was nearly impossible to choose a second favorite from the other treats she shared: Lemon Bar Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Toffee Bark, Cake Batter Blondie Bars, Apple Pie Cookies… But as a huge chocoholic, I finally settled on her Chocolate Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies. They basically tasted like a soft-baked Oreo with a cheesecake filling—absolutely divine!
For Dorothy’s original cookie recipe, you’ll have to buy her Dessert Mash-Ups cookbook OR enter to win an autographed copy below! But I made something similar by tweaking my favorite chocolate cookie recipe. I added in Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, like Dorothy did, to enhance the chocolate flavor and make the cookies’ color a little darker, like Oreos. For the true black Oreo color, use all special dark cocoa powder!
Now I know it sounds strange, but do not skip the cornstarch! In soups and stews, it absorbs liquid to thicken the dishes. When added to cookies, it also absorbs moisture, which keeps them extra soft. So yes, it’s a mandatory ingredient!
These chocolate cookies do not spread in the oven, so you’ll need to flatten them before baking. Make the cookies between ⅛” to ¼” thick—thinner for wider cookies, thicker for taller ones. Keep an eye on them because they bake quickly and finish in about 5-6 minutes! Take them out of the oven when they still feel a little underdone and soft in the centers. The cookies will continue to cook through on the warm baking sheet, so this prevents them from turning crisp and crunchy.
For the filling, I downsized Dorothy’s recipe since my chocolate cookie recipe only yielded 12 cookie sandwiches instead of 24-36. It’s so easy to make and tastes just like sweet vanilla cheesecake! Dollop a little on half of the cookies, top with the remaining cookies, and then chill the cookie sandwiches. If you skip the chilling, the filling stays liquidy, but after an hour or two in the fridge, it firms right up.
I found nearly every excuse I could to open the refrigerator and reach for another one of these Chocolate Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies! With their decadent chocolate flavor and sweet filling, they barely lasted a day in our house. And now that they’re gone, I’ve got my eye on that recipe for Truffle-Topped Brownies!
For more of Dorothy’s fun recipes, enter to win a signed copy of her Dessert Mash-Ups cookbook! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter box below. It sometimes takes a few minutes to load, so be patient! (If you’re reading this in an email, click on the link to enter.) After logging in with your email address or Facebook account, enter using as many options as you’d like.
*Dessert Mash-Ups Giveaway will be open until 11:59 PM Pacific Time on October 23, 2014. Open to the US only. Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond, or else a new winner will be selected.