When I bit into one of these cookies my eyes grew wide. “Mmmmm, these are so good!” It was soft and chewy, and the silky mocha filling oozed out of the sides of the sandwich. I polished it off and immediately went in for another.
I had bookmarked this recipe over two years ago in an issue of Fine Cooking magazine, and I’m glad I finally took the time to make them this weekend. While they were a bit more labor intensive than cookies that you just plop on a cookie sheet and bake, the extra effort to cut the sandwich rounds out was totally worth the extra effort.
The cookies themselves have a great chocolate flavor, but I must say that the show stopper for me was the mocha filling. I mean, I like chocolate combined with other flavors: mint, peanut butter, orange. But there’s something so sophisticated and decadent about chocolate paired with coffee.
I could see these cookies gracing a beautiful party spread, or being packaged up in cute little gift boxes. Miniature desserts can feel so fancy and delicate, but sometimes it’s just fun to make them for you and your sweetie to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.
Mocha Sandwich Cookies
Source: Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
Yield: Fine Cooking says that this recipe yields five dozen cookies. I made about three dozen, got tired of re-rolling the dough out, and I just baked the last slab of dough as one giant cookie instead.
For the Cookies:
7-1/2 ounces (or 1-2/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 ounce (or 1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Mocha Filling:
1 Tablespoon instant espresso
2 ounces (or 1/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces (or 1/4 cup) cream cheese
6 ounces (or 1-1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 ounce (or 1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until blended and smooth, about 30 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing until the dough is just combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so that it will be easier to handle.
Divide the dough in half. Roll one half of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to an even 1/8-inch thickness. Slide the dough and parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and freeze until cold and firm, about 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
Using a 1-1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the dough and arrange the rounds 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets. If necessary, use a spatula to carefully lift the rounds off of the parchment paper. If the dough gets too soft, return it to the freezer for a few minutes. Carefully press the scraps together, reroll, and cut. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Bake until the tops look dry, about 6 minutes. Let the cookies cool on their pans for a minute and then let them cool completely on racks.
Make the filling:
In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso in 2 Tablespoons of hot water. Let cool slightly, 5 minutes.
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add half of the sugar, mixing on low speed until just combined. Add the coffee mixture and vanilla, and mix again until just incorporated. Finally, add the remaining sugar and mix on low speed for a few seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the filling is light and fluffy, about 1 minute more.
To assemble the sandwiches, transfer the cooled cookies to a work surface, flipping half of them over. With an offset spatula or butter knife, spread a thin layer of the filling onto each turned-over cookie. Set another cookie on top of each filled cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. The cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Make Ahead Tips
The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. For the best texture, assemble the sandwiches as close to serving as possible.