Hot Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Photography, Recipe Development, and Food Styling by Sarah Kieffer

Highly decadent, these Hot Chocolate Sandwich Cookies by Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog will bring to mind all the lovely winter memories of childhood. The cookies are thin but packed full of chocolate flavor, and the Mint Meringue Filling is reminiscent of a marshmallow. If you are not a fan of mint, the extract can be omitted. Find more holiday sandwich cookies in our 2018 Holiday Cookies special issue!

Hot Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
 
Makes about 25 cookies
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 11⁄4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (71 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking powder
  • Mint Meringue Filling (recipe follows)
  • 5 large candy canes (210 grams), crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat butter over very low heat. Add chocolate, and melt together, stirring frequently to prevent chocolate from scorching. Cook until mixture is warm to the touch but not hot. Add cocoa, and whisk until combined. Remove from heat, and keep warm. (Alternatively, in a microwave- safe bowl, heat butter and chocolate on high in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Whisk in cocoa.)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and salt at medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add oil and vanilla, beating just until combined. Add warm chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture, beating until combined. Using a spatula, finish stirring batter. Let stand until batter firms to the consistency of a thick brownie batter, about 5 minutes. Drop batter by heaping 2 tablespoonfuls at least 2 inches apart onto prepared pans.
  5. Bake, one batch at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges are set, 8 to 12 minutes. Pipe or spoon Mint Meringue Filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Place remaining cookies, flat side down, on top of filling, gently pressing together until filling reaches edges of cookies. Roll cookies in crushed candy canes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cookies are best the day of baking but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Mint Meringue Filling
 
Makes about 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 5 large egg whites (150 grams)
  • 11⁄2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) crème de menthe (optional)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 grams) mint extract, or more if desired
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together egg whites, sugar, and salt by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, being careful not to let water touch bottom of bowl. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula until sugar is completely dissolved and a candy thermometer registers 160°F (71°C), 4 to 5 minutes. (While stirring, be sure to scrape sides of bowl with spatula—this will ensure no sugar grains are lurking on sides and will also help prevent egg whites from cooking.)
  2. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat mixture at medium-high speed until glossy stiff peaks form and bowl cools to room temperature, 8 to 10 minutes. Add crème de menthe (if using) and extracts, beating until combined. Use immediately.

 

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