Recipe: Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookies recipes. Like my candied orange peel recipe, it is adapted from one originally published in the mid-90s in Chocolatier Magazine.  The recipe below is double the volume of the original Chocolatier recipe[1], and if you have a mixing bowl big enough it is easy to double or triple for a truly epic batch.

cookies finished

Ingredients – Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 g)
  • 1/2 cup non-alkalized cocoa powder (41 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened (227 g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (239 g)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Ingredients – Ganache

  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (284 g)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (142 g)
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

Procedure

Phase 1: Make the cookies

  • Position one rack in the top third and another in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
  • In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt until thoroughly blended.
  • In a small cup, combine the espresso powder and vanilla and stir with a small rubber spatula until the espresso is dissolved.
  • In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter for 30 seconds, until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add both sugars and continue beating for two to three minutes, until the mixture is light in texture and color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Beat in the egg until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Beat in the espresso mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • At low speed, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition.
  • Drop the dough by slightly rounded measured teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, until the edges are very lightly browned but the centers are still slightly soft; switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through the baking time for even browning. (For crisper cookies, bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the centers are no longer soft.)
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to paper towels to cool completely.

Phase 2: Make the ganache

  • In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the chocolate until finely chopped.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the espresso powder and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the espresso powder.
  • With the processor running, add the hot cream mixture to the chopped chocolate and process for 25 to 30 seconds, or until completely smooth.
  • Scrape the ganache into a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature until just slightly set and spreadable, about 30 minutes.

Phase 3: Assemble the sandwich cookies

  • Group the cookies into pairs, matching two cookie rounds of similar shape and size.
  • Spread a gently rounded teaspoonful of the ganache filling onto the bottom of one of the cookies.
  • Top with the matching cookie, right-side-up, and very gently press each sandwich together.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie pairs until all cookies are made into sandwiches.
  • Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to set the ganache. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for two to three days.

Storage

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for two to three days.

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Notes

  • You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, as shown in the slide show above.
  • If possible, line your cookie sheets with silicone baking mats, or with parchment paper. 

 


[1] I can’t imagine making a batch of any cookies that uses one egg and one stick of butter. That’s not right.

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