"Naked" Tim Tams

Added on by Monica Cheng.

This constitutes probably one of the most ambitious cookie endeavors I have ever tried carrying out within a school mile radius, in what I consider one of the nicer student kitchens of off-campus living. My friend, Sophia, and I had grand plans for the baking adventures that we would go on during our last year, and our chats would often involve us exchanging endless ideas of what to make in what would turn out (unsurprisingly) our virtually non-existent free time. Now that I look back at our conversations, I realize that over half of the time, I am the one doling out bunches of links to recipes I want to try. It’s a miracle the sweet girl hasn’t gotten tired of me yet ;)

Anywho, I jumped on the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year, and it’s been so much fun! I want to say straight off that I couldn’t have done this without the help and generosity of sweet Sophia, who offered her kitchen for our cookie shenanigans. After deliberating for like 5 seconds over a long list of cookie possibilities, we decided on Tim Tams!

Tim Tams are a popular Australian cookie, malted chocolate biscuits with creamy chocolate filling and enrobed in chocolate. They are usually rectangular shaped, but of course we couldn’t resist throwing in a few heart shaped cookie cutters and shot glass round cut-outs (read: resourcefulness of college bakers) for holiday love and cheer. We were also inspired by Molly Yeh’s Tim Tam adaptation and used chocolate-peanut butter filling instead of regular ol’ chocolate cream filling. De-licious. For a while, I was snacking on leftover frosting paired with banana slices and chocolate chips. It’s quite honestly the best.

I have a story for you.

Now, we did not intend for these cookies to turn out “naked,” so to speak, but as it happened to be, the chocolate gods were not in our favor, and our chocolate simply wouldn’t melt properly. Horrified, we racked our heads for what to do. Can we can call these Tim Tams anymore if they are not rectangular shaped or dipped in chocolate and have peanut butter in the filling? Sables? No, they’re not sandy. Oreos? No, not exactly. Chocolate cookies with chocolate-peanut butter filling? No, too wordy. Cocoa piecrust cookies? Hmm, a bit misleading. “Naked” Tim Tams? Aha…! 

Meanwhile, the clock strikes 12 p.m. Our friend Kaitlyn waltzes into the kitchen, brews up a cup of morning coffee, and drops in a dollop of our “melted” chocolate.

“Tastes like heavenly mocha!” she announces. “I’ll eat this fudge if you don’t want it.”

And so, “naked” Tim Tams was born (our deepest apologies, Tim Tam snobs), and no chocolate was wasted. Existential cookie crisis. Averted.

The great thing about these cookies is that they taste even better the next day after chilling in the refrigerator and letting all the flavors harmonize over time. They’re crisp but soft to the bite, with a wonderful balance of creamy chocolate and hint of peanut butter. Not rich or overwhelming; perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.

Beyond the busyness of school work, studying gender theory and anxiety disorders, or fellowship applications for the future after college (oh dear), baking in the kitchen and making food for friends and loved ones is always a joy I try to make time for, and it’s wonderful to be able to share this joy of food with people near and far. I’m so happy to be able to share these cookies with Alisa Huntsman, Jennifer Meyering, and Carrie Farias as a part of the cookie swap. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did, making them for you!

I also want to thank Nichole for her addicting peanut butter cookies, Stacy for her flourless chocolate peppermint cookies, and Laney for her adorable mini chocolate chip cookies.

If you're interested in joining in next year on the fun of the Food Blogger Cookie Swap, you can sign up for notifications here.

Love,
Monica

"Naked" Tim Tams

Adapted from The Sugar Hit!   |   Yield: 4 dozen (46) sandwich cookies

Ingredients
For the chocolate cookies:
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the chocolate-peanut butter filling:
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons malted drink powder
(e.g. Olvatine, Nesquik, etc.)*

Directions
For the chocolate cookies:
Cream butter & sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Add cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Then add salt. Last, fold in flour by hand. Place dough on a large sheet of parchment paper, taped/secured to the work surface to keep from moving. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and roll it out for smooth finishing. Place on a tray and freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Remove dough from freezer. Work quickly at this point, before the dough comes to room temperature. Slice into shapes using cookie cutters, or cut out rectangles if staying true to the original Tim Tams. Place on lined baking trays. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until your finger doesn’t make an indentation when you touch the surface of the cookies. Watch carefully to make sure the cookies don’t overbake. Cool completely before frosting.

For the chocolate-peanut butter filling:
Cream butter & peanut butter until smooth. Sift in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and malted drink powder. Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling on half of the cookies, or use a piping tip. Top with the remaining cookies. Dip in melted chocolate or dust with powdered sugar, if so desired. Serve & enjoy!

Storage: Store in air-tight container at room temperature (or refrigerator) for up to 7 days.

*Note: Malted drink powder can be omitted if cannot find in stores near you.