It's Day 3 of our I've-Never-Done-This-Before Support Group, and I didn't want to show up empty-handed. So I made Bat Sandwich Cookies, even though the truth is that bats scare the living daylights out of me.
When I was in college I lived in a really really old house. I had lots of crazy roommates (and not the good kind of party-hardy-crazy; the white coat kind), one of whom was a bat (or two? who can tell for sure) living in the basement. I'm reasonably sure that the landlord, to whom I paid $190 a month for the pleasure of living with this bunch of lunatics, cared not at all. Like, if it was her job not to care, she would have gotten an immediate promotion to, like, the tallest midget or something. The only reason any of this mattered (just don't go in the basement, dummy!) is because … the laundry was in the basement. And dirty undies were apparently scarier than bats. Which is saying something. So my one non-crazy roommate and I bought ourselves some extra undies. And 6 times every 2 weeks (2 loads of laundry, 3 bat visits per load – try to keep up), we put on baseball hats, and sprinted downstairs and back up, hearts racing. The bat(s) would do laps just below the impossibly low basement ceiling as we cleaned our clothes.
Not once did we consider going to a laundromat. We might not have been at our absolute smartest and most rational.
These bats are not bad-scary, though. They're good scary, and the oldest of my 3 kids cannot get enough scary in her life. She also has a need for speed. I'm probably going to be in big trouble with that one. For now, she's only 10 so I can still distract her with a good cookie. Thank goodness for that.
Now it's not like my kids are eating all of these Halloween treats I've been making. Especially since they're about to be begging for candy door-to-door in just one week's time. But since there is always the promise of a Halloween party in my gluten-free son's third grade class, I need something more fabulous than the usual school-party fare to send in to school for him so he feels pride instead of shame.
And these are super easy to make, to boot.
Semi-Pro Tip: I had an actual bat cookie cutter, but you could improvise if you don't have one of those lying around (I think the ones I have are made by Wilton, and they tend to be pretty easy to find this time of year). Try the Martha Stewart trick of using a small triangular cookie cutter for the center, and two inverted half-moon shapes for the wings. If you have those little aspic cutters, they'll do the trick.
And bake those bat cutouts, too, instead of gathering and rerolling them as scraps. Poke holes in the centers of the cutouts, bake them, and then thread a string through the holes. Dangle them from a chandelier or floor lamp at different heights. Scary! But in a good way. Just ask my daughter (not my college self – she's a weenie).
Chocolate Caramel Bat Sandwich Cookies
1 batch gluten-free Thin & Crispy Chocolate Wafer Cookie dough, slightly chilled
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup water, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
Place the cookie dough between two large sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick (slightly thinner). With a 3 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut out 24 rounds, gathering and rerolling scraps as necessary. Place all of the rounds about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. With a bat cookie cutter, cut out bat-shapes from the center of 12 of the rounds and remove them carefully from the baking sheet.
Place the cookies in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just set, about 7 1/2 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. They will cool quickly.
While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate caramel filling. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the sugar and water, and whisk to combine well. Cook the sugar mixture over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until it thickens and then becomes slightly amber-colored around the edges (about 3 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat immediately.
While whisking the sugar mixture vigorously, add the heavy whipping cream. The mixture will bubble up. Continue to whisk vigorously until the bubbles subside. Add the butter and chopped chocolate, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl, cover loosely and allow to cool until it begins to thicken but is still warm.
Once the cookies are cool and the caramel slightly thickened, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of chocolate caramel on the underside of one of the non-bat cookies. With the bottom of a spoon, spread the caramel into an even layer that stops about 1/4-inch from the edge of the cookie. Place a bat-cutout cookie on top of the caramel and press down gently but firmly to force the caramel to the edges of the cookie and up through the bat cutout. Allow to set at room temperature. Repeat with the remaining cookies and caramel.