If I’m being honest here, I was inspired to do this post on chocolate sandwich cookies because of a deep love of E.L. Fudge cookies when I was a kid. It’s fair to say that most people wouldn’t exactly classify those elvish little bastards as gourmet, but man they were good. Still are.
That type of sandwich cookie represents a duo I really love. That is, shortbread and chocolate. I think there’s a great balance between the crispness of a biscuit type cookie and the smooth, creamy mouth feel of chocolate. As a combination, it’s the textural equivalent of PB&J. For this variation we’re dipping them in chocolate just to really get crazy.
To get a really flat cookie (and create a cool texture) I use a silpain – a silpat developed for bread that has holes in it to allow steam to escape from the product as it bakes and improve air flow. If you don’t have one or don’t want to get/use one, I suggest either docking your dough before baking, or gently pressing it down with a wide spatula just after removing it from the oven.
To get the cleanest, most uniform shapes for the cookies, I roll the dough into a full sheet and bake it whole, cutting the cookies out halfway through baking. This allows the dough to spread before being cut so you know the shape you create will remain unchanged.
To dip the cookies in chocolate (an optional step but one I highly recommend) you will need to be familiar with tempering said chocolate, and should check out my post on the subject right…….here.
chocolate sandwich cookies
600g pastry flour
240g powdered sugar
12g vanilla extract
360g butter unsalted
120g whole egg
6g baking powder
Bring the butter and whole eggs to room temp. before getting started.
Combine and sift the pastry flour and baking powder and reserve it to use later.
Sift the powdered sugar and combine it with the butter, salt and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Add the whole eggs to the mixture gradually, mixing until fully emulsified with each addition. The butter mixture will be quite split at first but continue to mix until the mixture smooths out.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix!
Work the dough into an even block and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for a minimum of 2hrs before using, and ideally 8 hours up to overnight.
Roll the chilled dough out to 1/8” / .3cm. I roll directly onto a non-stick baking mat since it requires much less flour. If the dough sticks to the mat while rolling, don’t worry about it. We will chill the dough and peel the mat from it later. Hooray non-stick silicone!
Trim the dough (with the back side of a paring knife or a bench scraper. A knife blade will easily cut the mat) to square the dough off.
To transfer the dough, start by laying the silpain over it.
Grabbing both mats with the dough sandwiched in between, quickly flip them over in one smooth motion so the silpain is on the table.
Now simply peel the silpat (the non-stick baking mat) off of the dough. If the dough warmed too much during rolling and stuck to the mat, place the whole setup in the fridge for 10-15min. and then peel the silpat from the chilled dough.
Bake the dough at 350F/176C for 6min. Remove the dough from the oven and carefully and gently (so as not to cut the silpain) cut out rectangles 3 x 1”/ 7.6 x 2.5cm. I like to use the back of a paring knife for this rather than the blade to really make sure I don’t hack up the silpain. The dough must be only partially baked in order for it to be soft enough to cut cleanly but firm enough to hold its shape.
Place the dough back in the oven and continue to bake for 8-10min.
145g butter unsalted
5g pure vanilla extract
330g powdered sugar
120g chocolate, 41% Guittard Eclipse du Soleil
Bring the butter to room temp. before getting started.
Combine the butter, salt, vanilla and powdered sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Melt the chocolate until just liquified, cooling it slightly before adding it to the butter mixture to keep the butter from softening too much.
Add the chocolate to the butter mixture.
Wrap the mixture in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30min. to allow it to firm up enough to roll.
Roll the cookie filling out to 1/8”/.3cm. I roll the filling on a non-stick baking mat just like I did with the dough and clean the edges of the filling to create an even rectangle. Then I transfer it to a cutting board by inverting it onto the board with the filling facing down. Once again, simply peel the non-stick baking mat off of the filling (chilling it before hand to make it easy to peel off.
Cut the filling into 2.75 x .75” / 7 x 2cm rectangles, placing it back in the fridge for 10-15min. if it softens too much to work with.
Sandwich the filling between two cookies, pressing gently to adhere them.
Once your cookies are assembled, temper your chocolate. I’m using Guittard Lever du Soleil 61% which has great fluidity, making it perfect for enrobing, and good bitter sweet balance to compliment the sweetness of the cookies and filling. Brush the bases of the cookies with a thin layer of chocolate and let them set. Those will become the base of each cookie.
Place the cookies on a cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper with the chocolate base facing down.
Transfer your tempered chocolate to a piping bag (no tip is needed) and pipe the chocolate over the cookies one or two at a time, fully coating them. I like to use pressurized air (like a can of keyboard cleaner) to blow the excess chocolate off the top of the cookie, imitating the method used in an industrial process or a commercial enrobing machine. Otherwise, you could gently scrape excess chocolate off of the top of the cookie with a small offset spatula, like when glazing a cake.
Lift the enrobed cookie from the cooling rack with an offset spatula, gently scraping it along the rack to remove excess chocolate from the edges and base. Be sure to wipe the end of the spatula between moving cookies to remove any chocolate.
Place the coated cookies on a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper to fully set.