Sweet Sandwiches for the Season

These sweet sandwich cookies are great anytime of year but they  feel even more special when you have your family and friends around for the holidays.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Lemon Poppy Seed Sandwich Cookies


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix flour, salt and baking powder in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in egg, then poppy seeds, lemon peel and extracts. Mix in dry ingredients in 3 additions. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 2 large baking sheets. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Using 21/2-inch-diameter fluted cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Arrange cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Gather scraps; reroll and cut out more cookies. Chill cookies on baking sheets 15 minutes.

Bake cookies until edges just begin to color, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks; cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting and baking with remaining dough. (Can be made ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month.)

Beat all ingredients in large bowl until light and fluffy. Spread 2 teaspoons filling over bottom of 1 cookie. Press second cookie, bottom side down, onto filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


1 stick plus 6 tablespoons (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

1 extra-large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, blending well after each addition. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, blending well after each addition. After adding the final ingredient, beat until the mixture becomes thicker and a bit more elastic.

2. Divide the dough into two equal portions, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

3. Once the dough has chilled, remove one of the dough portions from the refrigerator, place it between two sheets of plastic wrap, and roll into a round shape about 1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the other portion of the dough. Place all of the dough back in the refrigerator, still wrapped in plastic wrap, and chill for another 15 to 20 minutes or until firm again.

4. Once the rolled-out dough is chilled, working with one portion at a time, remove and replace one piece of plastic wrap, and remove the plastic wrap from the other side. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles as close together as possible. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. Gather the scraps of dough that remain, roll them flat again, chill, and cut more rounds.

5. Place the rounds about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill while you preheat your oven to 325°F. Once the oven is ready, remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator, set them in the center of the preheated oven, and bake at 325°F for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets 180 degrees and bake 4 to 6 minutes more, until the cookies are firm but not burned.

6. Cool the cookies for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking sheets. If they are too soft once they have cooled for 10 minutes, return them to the oven and bake for another couple of minutes for that “snap.” Once the cookies are baked and cooled enough to be firm, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1–1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 recipe Chocolate Wafer Cookies
1. In a large bowl, mix the butter, shortening, and vanilla until well blended. Add the first 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar and stir until the sugar is incorporated completely into the butter mixture. The filling should be thick and stiff. Add more confectioner’s sugar, one tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.

2. Place one-half of the chocolate wafer cookies upside down on a level surface. Divide the filling among the cookies and flatten with wet hands or a spoon. Place the other half of the cookies right side up on top of the filling and press down gently to create sandwich cookies.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwiches


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 1/3 cups (about 8 ounces) milk chocolate chips

3 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

6 tablespoons whipping cream
For cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat powdered sugar, dark brown sugar, and butter in large bowl to blend.

Add peanut butter; beat until creamy. Gradually beat in vegetable oil and vanilla extract, then egg. Add dry ingredients; mix just until blended. Stir in milk chocolate chips.

Drop cookie dough by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake cookies until puffed and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

For filling:
Place chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and kosher salt in medium bowl. Bring whipping cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; stir until mixture is melted and smooth. Chill until filling is thick and spreadable, about 1 hour.

Spread about 1 rounded teaspoonful chocolate-peanut butter filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, forming sandwich. Repeat with remaining filling and cookies. (Cookie sandwiches can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)