It is getting close to Father’s Day and, yes, I am thinking about mi padre.
My dad is not your typical guy. No, no, no.
In order to prepare my sisters and me to start going out on dates, he wanted to teach us how to hold our liquor. Let no man ever get us drunk!
He taught us how to play Backgammon. And cards. And Dominoes and Blackjack and Rummikub and Crazy Dice.
He taught me how a single taco, made with a fresh corn tortilla and a sprinkle of the right amount of salt, can be the best meal of your life.
But, maybe most importantly of all, he taught me to get up no matter how many times life whirls you around and throws you down.
A few years ago, he came to visit and stayed with my boys, while my husband and I went on a trip. After three nights away, I came back to find boys who knew how to play Backgammon, cards, Dominoes, Blackjack, Rummikub and Crazy Dice.
And, also, boys who started swearing in Spanish at bad drivers (which I reversed right back!). He knew better than to teach them how to hold their liquor…He knows that, just like him, I am an Aries who can show my temper. Or maybe he just didn’t have enough time.
I know my dad would love to have these Tequileras on the Backgammon table. Or as he plays cards, Dominoes, Blackjack, Rummikub or Crazy Dice.
These Tequileras, as I baptized them, are a grown up sandwich cookie with deep chocolate flavored biscuits that aren’t too sweet, and the gentle bitterness of the cocoa comes through the slightest bit. Between the two crunchy, chocolatey biscuits is a rich, sweet buttercream made sophisticated by a dash of orange tequila liquor.
These cookies are sweet, complex, and full of life…kind of like the guy I had in mind when I was creating them.
This one is for you, Pa, I know you read all my blog posts by now.
For the cookies:
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon Agavero Orange Liqueur
To make the cookies:
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar at medium speed until soft. Add the vanilla and the egg, reduce the speed, and incorporate the cocoa powder. Scrape the sides of the bowl if need be, add the salt and the flour, and continue beating until it is all thoroughly combined. The dough should be soft and a bit cakey. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Flour the countertop and a rolling pin generously. Roll out the dough into a rectangle of about 1/8” thick. Cut into rectangles of about 2” by 1½”. With the help of a metal spatula, place on the baking sheets. With the tip of a pencil or a toothpick, mark a “T” with 3 to 4 dots going up and then 1 to 2 on each side of the top of the line to mark a T. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. You can reuse any scraps of dough and roll out again.
- Bake anywhere from 7 to 8 minutes, until firm. Remove from the oven and let cool.
To make the filling:
- Place the chocolate in bowl in a double boiler over simmering water until it melts.
- In the bowl of a mixer set with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Incorporate the confecioners’ sugar and beat until completely mixed. Add the melted chocolate and the Agavero and continue beating until completely mixed and very creamy.
- To assemble: Turn half the cookies upside down so sugar coating is on the bottom, cover with a dollop of filling, and top with half of cookies upside down. Store covered at room temperature.