Photography by Charity Burggraaf
Decadent Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Our neighbor Jan described these as Oreo cookies with a PhD. It’s true. They’re better, smarter, and more likely to succeed. A small amount of sugar and lots of good-quality cocoa powder make these cookies dark, rich, and pleasantly bitter.
The dough can be difficult to work with if it gets too soft. Roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and return it to the refrigerator briefly if it becomes sticky. You can also use a little bit of confectioners’ sugar on the plastic wrap and the cookie cutter for a clean release.
Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
You Will Need
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy and well combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula; add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat on medium speed to incorporate, 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl again and add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed just until a ball of dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, and flatten each into a disk. Wrap the disks separately and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper, roll 1 disk of dough 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2- to 2½ -inch round cookie cutter with a fluted edge and a metal spatula to cut rounds and move them to one of the baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Any leftover scraps can be pressed together and rerolled. Refrigerate the sheet and repeat with the other disk.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. After both baking sheets have chilled for at least 30 minutes, bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, or until the cookies are dry, no longer shiny, and are slightly crackly on top. Move the sheets from the oven (leaving the cookies on the sheets) to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat all of the ingredients on medium speed until smooth and spreadable. Put the filling in a smaller bowl for easier handling. When the cookies are completely cool, sandwich them with a scant tablespoon of filling and refrigerate just long enough to firm up the filling.
WITH A TWIST
Chocolate–Peppermint Stick Sandwich Cookies:
Substitute ½ teaspoon peppermint extract for the vanilla extract in the filling, and mix ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies into the filling.
Chocolate–Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies: Use the following filling in place of the original. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup Salted Caramel Sauce and stir to combine. When the mixture begins to bubble, slowly add 1 cup confectioners' sugar, stirring as you go, until the mixture is cohesive and smooth. Stir in an additional 2 tablespoons Salted Caramel Sauce and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and set aside to cool slightly. When it is spreadable, sandwich the cookies with about 1 tablespoon of the filling.