Recipe: Chocolate Shortbread Footballs

Impress your friends at your Super Bowl party with some classy football-shaped cookies. Try Wolfgang Puck's recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Footballs and enjoy the game!

Ingredients

• ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter • ½ cup granulated sugar • 1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour • ¾cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 cup mascarpone for filling (a triple-creme cheese available in many supermarkets and gourmet shops) • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar for filling • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar for icing • 1 tablespoon egg white for icing

Directions

1. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream them together for 5 minutes. Add the flour and cocoa powder and beat until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. On a flat, smooth work surface lightly dusted with flour, gather the dough together in a ball and, with a lightly flour-dusted rolling pin, roll the dough out to an even ¼-inch thickness. With a football-shaped cookie cutter about 3 inches long, cut the dough into 2 dozen football shapes. (Alternatively, draw a similarly sized football freehand on a piece of cardboard as a template, placing it on top of the dough and carefully cutting around its contours with the tip of a small, sharp knife.) Transfer the cookies to the paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the sheet 180 degrees and bake another 5 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack, and let them cool.

4. Get started on the cookie filling by stirring together the mascarpone and the 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl until well blended. Spread a little of this mixture on top of one football and top with a second football to make a sandwich. Continue spreading the mixture until all the cookies are filled.

5. To make the icing, stir together the 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and the egg white in a clean bowl until perfectly smooth. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round number-1 tip, or spoon it into a sealable plastic bag. Using the tip, or snipping off the very tip of one corner of the plastic bag with scissors to form an opening, pipe a football lace design on the cookies. Let the icing dry before serving. Makes 1 dozen sandwiches.

*Raw Egg Warning:The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of foodborne illness. Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell.

Recipes excerpted from Wolfgang Puck's Live, Love, Eat! Random House © 2002.

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