Making these hazelnut espresso sandwich cookies
Sandwich cookies are so special. You’re literally eating two cookies at the same time. And then there’s chocolate in the middle. I mean, come on, what’s not to love?
My mom got this book The Perfect Cookie for Christmas, and while I was home I couldn’t stop dog ear-ing every other page, because each recipe looked absolutely… perfect. In the two weeks I was home, Mom made 2 recipes from the book, and they were both insane. Then, because my mom is the best, she sent me some cookies in the mail, along with a copy of the book, a few weeks later. I immediately knew I had to make something for you all, and here we are.
These Hazelnut Espresso Sandwich Cookies are just as good as they look. I never knew that hazelnut and espresso paired well together before these cookies. And now I’m ALL about it. Plus, there’s a chocolate ganache center. So like, big fan.
How to make sandwich cookies
Each sandwich cookie recipe is a little different, but they all have pretty much the same basic steps:
Make the cookie dough — Cookie dough is cookie dough. You whip the butter until light and fluffy, add in the other ingredients, and then continue on your merry way. What makes these espresso hazelnut cookies a little unique is that you need to chill the dough before rolling it out. This helps prevent the dough from spreading in the oven.
Shape the cookies — Again, sandwich cookie recipes may vary a bit on this step, so use whichever method is best for you. For these chocolate espresso cookies, I rolled out the dough and then cut circles out using a cookie cutter. But I’ve also made sandwich cookies where I scooped out equal amounts of dough, rolled them into balls, and then flattened them slightly in the palms of my hands to form the desired shape. Both processes take some time and patience, so use whichever methods suits you best.
Bake the cookies — No surprise here! These are very tiny, thin cookies, so don’t be tempted to over bake them. They might not look done in the oven, but they will be.
Let the cookies cool — Before adding the ganache filling, you HAVE to let the cookies cool completely.
Assemble the sandwich cookies — Once the cookies are fully cooled, dollop some filling onto one cookie and sandwich another on top. You can then drizzle chocolate on top or leave them plain, up to you!
How to store sandwich cookies
If you think you’ll have too many sandwich cookies left over, I recommend freezing a few of the cookies before you assemble them. Then, when you’re ready to eat the sandwich cookies you can make a small batch of ganache and enjoy them right away. If you think you’ll be eating these cookies by the end of the week, pop them into an airtight container and keep them on your counter. They’ll be gone before you know it!
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
Process hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and ground hazelnuts together in a bowl.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and yolk, one at a time, espresso powder, and vanilla and beat until combined.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer dough to counter and divide in half. Form each half into a 5-inch disk, warp disks tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Let chilled dough soften on counter, about 10 minutes. Roll 1 disk of dough into a 14-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured counter. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 30 circles; space circles 1/2 inch apart on prepared sheets. Gently reroll scraps once, cut into circles, and transfer to prepared sheets.
Bake until edges are slightly browned, about 7 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with second disk of dough. Let cookies cool completely.
Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Place 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips in bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips; cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk chocolate mixture until smooth. Refrigerate ganache, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 40 minutes.
Spread 2 teaspoons of ganache over bottom half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere. Microwave remaining 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips in a bowl at 50% powder, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle chocolate over cookies and let set, about 30 minutes, before serving.