Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies

Some time ago I started thinking about a snickerdoodle sandwich cookie, based on the vanilla bean sandwich cookies that my dear friend Diana absolutely loves. I’m proud to say that I adapted that recipe with great success and created a wonderful treat with the perfect balance of cinnamon and vanilla, two of my favorite flavors.

The cookies themselves would be fine on their own, but sandwiching them with vanilla cream filling takes this recipe up a delicious notch. You’ll have plenty of filling left over (I’m making chocolate cupcakes and filling them with the remaining portion), so you can be generous with your portions. Someday I’ll need to figure out how to cut the filling recipe down!

Vanilla Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and remaining 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add egg and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1/2 teaspoon-sized balls, about the size of a gumball, and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10-11 minutes, until tops are very light golden and just set.

Cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer on the parchment to wire racks to cool completely before filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and shortening.

Add powdered sugar in small batches, beating until combined.  Once all sugar is incorporated, beat on medium speed for two minutes

Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Place about 1 teaspoon of filling onto half of the cookies, spreading to the edges. Top with another cookie; store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 28 sandwiches.

Vanilla Bean Sandwich Cookies

vanilla-bean-sandwichesPeople cultivate vanilla in many parts of the world, but my favorite vanilla comes from Mexico. Vanilla is actually a member of the orchid family, and has been grown in eastern Mexico – where it was first cultivated – for hundreds of years.

If you’ve never worked with a vanilla bean before, don’t be afraid. Simply place your bean on a cutting board and split the bean in two lengthwise – I use a small chef’s knife for both the splitting and the scraping. Flatten out the halves so the inside of the bean faces up, then scrape your knife down each of the insides to get the seeds, which will look like a black paste.

This recipe is adapted from two different ones from Martha Stewart’s Cookies, a book I’ve used many times with great success. I ended up with an extra half-cup of filling, so next time I might pare down my filling recipe to make less.

Vanilla Bean Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and kosher salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add egg, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds and beat on medium speed until smooth.

With the mixer running on low, gradually add flour mixture.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until tops are very light golden and just set.

Cool on baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then transfer on the parchment to wire racks to cool completely before filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and shortening.

Add powdered sugar in small batches, beating until combined.  Once all sugar is incorporated, beat on medium speed for two minutes

Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of filling onto half of the cookies.  Spread filling to the edges, then top with another cookie.

Makes 18 sandwiches.

Vampire Bite Sandwich Cookies

vampiresandwichesSometimes you find a recipe that goes totally awry. Such was my experience today with a recipe for vampire bite cookies, a sugar cookie stuffed with raspberry jam. Let’s just say we’ll be going back to the drawing board on those, but in the meantime, I turned what could have been a disaster into something quite tasty.

Instead of wasting my dough – because I don’t ever toss dough or batter unless has gone terribly wrong and cannot be fixed – I decided to bake the cookies, then use a dark red-tinted raspberry buttercream filling for little sandwiches. Fair warning: when taking a bite, the filling will absolutely ooze out on all sides, but that sort of adds to the Halloween-themed fun, no?

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the blood red buttercream

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 heaping tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Red gel food coloring

Preparation

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts, beating well to combine.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating well after each.

Divide dough in two portions; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough into circles and place about 1 inch apart on prepared sheets.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, until edges are set. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

To make blood red buttercream, in a mixing bowl, beat butter and raspberry jam on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will look lumpy; that’s okay. Add powdered sugar and beat until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl several times. Add food coloring and beat until fully combined.

Flip cookies over and top half with a generous dollop of filling (about 1/2 tablespoon or so). Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

brown sugar sandwichesFor some reason there’s a surplus of sour cream in our fridge. A few weeks ago I bought two containers intending to make something completely different–possibly a chocolate cake, although I can’t quite remember now–and then Mike brought home a third to use as a baked potato topping earlier this week. It was a happy accident to discover that this recipe called for sour cream, as clearly, I have plenty.

Scientifically speaking, sour cream alters the texture of baked goods because of its acidity, making cakes and cookies lighter and moister than those without. These cookies are soft, but also have a delightful just-shy-of-crispy edge. The original recipe called for them to be frosted with a caramel mixture, but I decided to fill them with a vanilla cream instead to balance the nearly-caramel flavor of the brown sugar. You could certainly eat them plain if you like; next time, I’ll use more filling for each cookie than I did today, so I’d actually recommend doubling the filling ingredients in the recipe below.

Brown Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well-combined.

Add sour cream and mix until well-combined.

Add flour mixture in two separate batches, scraping the sides of the bowl in between.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared sheets, leaving a few inches between each as the cookies will spread. Spray your palm with baking spray and gently press each scoop of dough until the top is flattened.

Bake for 12 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely before filling.

Vanilla Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening until combined.

Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Add vanilla extract and beat until well-combined.

To fill the cookies: flip half of the cookies over and spread filling on each; top with another cookie to create the sandwich.

Butter Biscuits with Apricot Preserves

apricot jam biscuits 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some bakers are loyal to kitchen scales, relying on grams and ounces rather than tablespoons and cups. I’ve never used a kitchen scale, though one is certainly on my dream-kitchen-supply wish list. Today, one would have come in very handy, because I found this recipe on the BBC’s website, and its ingredient volumes were listed in grams and ounces.

Using an internet conversion program, I translated the ounces into more familiar measurements—several tablespoons here, a cup plus a few tablespoons there. This made me think about how the rest of the world uses the metric system and Americans don’t, but that’s another story for another day. This recipe turned out to be a very quick and easy way to use up the two egg yolks I didn’t need in this morning’s icing for my Easter sugar cut-outs.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 4-5 tablespoons flour
  • 7 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 14 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • About 8 tablespoons apricot preserves

Preparations

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour and the powdered sugar.

Add butter and, using your hands, rub together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add egg yolks and stir with a fork to make a soft dough; add one tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough is firm enough to handle, but still very pliable.

On a lightly floured counter top, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.

Cut with desired cookie cutters (heart or flower shapes probably work best); cut a small hole in the center of half of the shapes for the top of the sandwich, through which the jam will show once the cookies are assembled.

Bake for about 14 minutes, until cookies are firm and just golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Flip each whole cookie over and spread about one teaspoon of jam on each.

Top each cookie with a cut-out cookie to create the sandwich.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Cream Filling

 

 

 

 

 

As far as store-bought cookies go, I’m pretty loyal to the Nutter Butter and the Double Stuf Oreo. Regular Oreos don’t have quite enough filling for my preference, though I’ll certainly eat them.  This cookie is like a homemade Oreo on steroids; you can certainly make them smaller, using a one-inch cookie scoop if you prefer.  Someday soon, I’ll devise a recipe for a homemade Nutter Butter.

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for flattening cookies
  • 10 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • Vanilla Cream Filling (see below)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

Add egg and beat well.

Slowly add the flour mixture, beating until combined.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets.

Pour about 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl.  Butter the bottom of a glass and dip it in the sugar, then press each ball of dough to flatten.  You will need to re-butter the glass several times; if the glass sticks to the dough after flattening, gently peel the dough away with a knife.

Bake for 10 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through.

Cool completely before filling and sandwiching.

Vanilla Cream Filling

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and shortening.

Add powdered sugar in small batches, beating until combined.  Once all sugar is incorporated, beat on medium speed for two minutes

Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of filling onto half of the cookies.  Spread filling to the edges, then top with another cookie.