March 30, 2013

Biscuit sandwich cookies with chocolate fudge filling (and other possibilities)

I got the notion to make some sandwich cookies the other day.  It's still not my favorite thing to do but I'm a little less reluctant to make roll-out cookies now that I've had a bit more experience and practice.  These biscuit sandwich cookies (one of Martha's recipes) have been on my list of things to bake for a while.  So armed with some extra heavy cream in the fridge, I thought it was time to make it happen.
No doubt, making roll-out and sandwich cookies take a little extra effort.  But I hauled out my food processor and dusted off my rolling pin to give these a go.  The dough comes together quickly and is fairly easy to roll out.  But in typical form, I didn't roll my cookies as thin as they should be (rolling dough to 1/16th of an inch thickness is beyond my ability and patience level) and since the dough was sticking to my parchment paper, I needed to chill the rolled dough before I could remove the cut-outs from the sheet. 
I don't know about you but whenever I'm make anything that involves cookie cutters, I can't resist the heart shape...
My sandwich cookies aren't nearly as thin or as chic as Martha's but I fully expected that.  And even though my favorite kinds of cookies are generally the chewy, soft, gooey kind, I like a nice crispy one once in a while too.  And the best part about a sandwich cookie must be the promise of a rich filling to be discovered within.  I may have wanted to make these for the filling alone.

I decided to join these biscuit cookies with a chocolate fudge filling.  Of course, for me, it must be chocolate in some form!  Maybe I was thinking about how much I loved E.L. Fudge cookies as a kid or maybe it was the frugal side of me wanting to use up the extra condensed milk I had on hand (after making mango sago) but, either way, chocolate fudge called out to me.
Similar to ganache, the fudge filling will set up as it cools
The original recipe actually pairs the cookies with melted milk chocolate (a good option since the cookies themselves are not very sweet) and suggests Nutella as a quick substitute.  Both are excellent possibilities and I can't help but think of a number of other choices as far as the filling goes.  Think: smooth peanut butter, melted dark chocolate (if you want to keep the overall cookie less sweet), ganache, some kind of jam, lemon curd, or even a buttercream (though that's not my thing) or a swipe of chestnut cream.
The cookies by themselves are buttery but not to the degree of Punitions or shortbread cookies, with a slightly salty bite.  Not being very sweet or overwhelming in flavor, I think the cookies paired very well with the fudge filling, which is somewhat sweeter than ganache.
That's the neat thing about homemade things; you can customize it to your own liking.  Whatever you choose to fill your biscuit sandwich cookies with, who doesn't love picking up a sandwich cookie, twisting it open, and licking the center?
A few words on this recipe...The biscuit cookie dough comes together very quickly in the food processor.  It doesn't make a lot but if you (somehow) manage to roll them out as thin as intended (unlike me), I'm told it can yield 36 rounds to make 1 1/2 dozen sandwiches.
This recipe calls for some cold butter, as well as heavy cream.  Combine the ingredients together until the dough starts to come together.  If necessary, help it along by adding an extra teaspoon or so of cream if you find the mixture too dry.
Turn the dough out and pull it together into a ball.  It doesn't need to be chilled before rolling but I found that I needed to pop it in the fridge after rolling since the dough was sticking pretty stubbornly to the parchment.  I like to roll cookie dough like this with parchment on the bottom and a piece of plastic wrap on top so I can see it.
Use fluted round cookie cutters or whatever shape you fancy.  Before baking, brush the tops of the cookies with a egg wash made by mixing one egg yolk with a tablespoon of heavy cream.  This gives the cookies a deep yellow color and helps it brown in the oven.
For the chocolate fudge filling:
I found this recipe from Martha as well.  I made a teeny portion (just a quarter of the original recipe) because I only had about a dozen sandwich cookies to fill. 
The filling is very much like ganache.  Start with some chocolate, a bit of confectioners' sugar, and teeny pinch of salt.  You can also add a pinch of instant espresso powder if you keep it around  like I do.  Then, instead of heavy cream, pour some heated evaporated milk to melt the mixture.
Once you pour in the hot evaporated milk, let it sit for a minute before whisking together.  If you are working with a small amount like I am and the chocolate is not completely melted, set the bowl over some hot water and stir until smooth.  Then let it sit until the mixture firms up enough to spread.  The amount of time that takes depends on how much filling you're working with and other factors.  Mine was ready within half an hour, with some occasional stirring.  Like ganache, it sets up firm so make sure to keep an eye on it.  It could become too stiff to spread, in which case you'd need to set it over some barely simmering water to loosen it and practically start again; we don't want that!
And that sums up my biscuit sandwich-making endeavor of the week!
Biscuit Sandwich Cookies (with Chocolate Fudge Filling)
From Martha Stewart's Cookies and available here
- Makes 1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies (36 individual) but only if you can roll them ultra-thin -
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
*Chocolate Fudge Filling - recipe follows
* Other filling possibilities: 8 ounces of melted milk chocolate (or dark, if you prefer), Nutella, peanut butter, ganache, jam, lemon curd, buttercream, chestnut cream, etc.
Place flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add cold butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.  With the machine running, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and the vanilla.  Process until dough starts to come together.  (If necessary, you can add an extra teaspoon or so of heavy cream if mixture seems too dry.)
Turn the dough out onto a work surface (I like to place it on top of a piece of plastic wrap) and bring it together into a ball.  Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment (or like me, use parchment on the bottom and the plastic wrap on top) until 1/16th inch thickness.  Cut rounds using a 2 1/2 inch fluted cookie cutter, making 36 circles, rerolling scraps as necessary.  If dough is sticking to the parchment, chill it for about 20-30 minutes.  Otherwise, place cut-outs onto parchment or silicon lined baking sheets. 
Chill the cut-outs by placing baking sheets in the freezer (I put it in the refrigerator since the cookie sheets won't fit in my freezer) for about 15 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream together in a small bowl.  Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg walk and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
While cookies cool, prepare the filling.  Spread a heaping teaspoon or so of filling onto the underside of each half cookie and sandwich it with another.  If necessary, refrigerate until filling sets.  Store cookies between layers or parchment paper, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Fudge Filling
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- Makes between 3/4 to 1 cup -
6 ounces (1 cup) of semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
6 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place chocolate, sugar, salt, and espresso powder (if using) into a heatproof bowl.  Heat evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and pour directly over the chocolate mixture.  Let stand for about 2 minutes.  Then, add vanilla and gently whisk the filling from the center outward until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Let filling sit, stirring occasionally, until it firms up slightly into a spreadable consistency.  You can speed up the process by placing it in the refrigerator.  Make sure to check on it frequently since it can set up and be too stiff to spread.


  1. Monica, i agree: rollout cookies aren't always my favorite, but certainly they do get easier as you do them more often, and it's not so bad when they're worth it (and these look totally worth it!)
    Your heart cutter is my star cutter; i can't resist cutting things into stars when i do things. It's silly, really, but i still do it.

  2. These are GORGEOUS! I hate making any cookie that requires assembly...hence the reason I've never attempted a sandwich cookie. But they're so adorable I might have to try to make them soon ;)

  3. Hi Shannon - The star shape cutter is probably #2 in my book. My 7-year old son usually likes that and car shapes! Buying cookie cutters can get crazy after a while...

    Thanks so much, Amy. I'm glad I'm not the only person who doesn't want to take out her rolling pin too often! I have to say these cookies were very sticky after rolling out so this may not be a great starter recipe, if you will. If you like hazelnuts, Ina's shortbread are very good and roll out very nicely:

  4. Your cookies look so crisp and light, perfect for a sandwich cookie.

    Perhaps an extra dusting of flour or rolling between two sheets of baking paper would help with the stickiness?

  5. Thanks for the suggestion! You're right about using a bit more flour. I did roll the dough out on top of parchment and under plastic wrap but I didn't bother to flour the bottom much or move it around to ensure it wasn't sticking - probably too lazy? : ) I'm bad with details sometimes...

  6. I've no patience with cut-out cookies as well, but you did very good here. I want to dunk those sandwich cookies in my afternoon tea, everyday!

  7. I drink a lot of tea throughout the day and I agree that it's always nice to have a little something sweet to go with afternoon tea time!

  8. These sandwich cookies looks so good! I love the chocolate fudge filling you have there. YUM!

  9. Your cookies look so pretty, they sound delicious too!

  10. It does make you think of the Keebler cookies in the best possible way :)

  11. I *am* a sucker for EL Fudge! : ) thanks!

  12. Really lovely cookies!! You did a fantastic job :)

  13. Love the chocolate fudge filling. The cookies are just perfectly browned. YUM.

  14. Thank you Amy, Rosie, Natalie and Lokness - I appreciate it!

  15. Beautiful cookies! I love that they kept their shape after baking.

  16. Just barely, Eva, but I'm not too picky! ; )

  17. You suggested lemon curd and my mouth just started watering. I love lemon curd and I can totally dream about these biscuit sandwiches with lemon curd... but I love chocolate too. I need both! These cookies look so beautiful.

    1. I love lemon tarts! Aside from chocolate, lemon desserts are the next best thing.



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