Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies Recipe

My intention was to bring a little baggie of these snappy, chocolate-stuffed sandwich cookies on the plane to Philadelphia last week. Unfortunately, I ran out of time (having clean clothes trumped having cookies this time around) and had to wait until after my trip to bake them off. That being said, they are an effective travel tool, perfect for establishing goodwill with the stranger(s) sitting next to you. The poppy-flecked, brown sugar dough has a mellow sweetness, and it is my feeling that the butter browns just enough in the oven to bring the flavors together full circle. The chocolate functions as binding bridge between two wafer-thin coins.

Sandwich Cookie Recipe

There are a couple tricks to making these cookies extra good. The first is simple - roll the dough out very, very thin. Not parchment thin, but certainly Saltine cracker thin. The resulting cookies will be crisp, elegant, and lovely to look at. You want just a bit of chocolate sandwiched between just a bit of cookie. Too much cookie and the ratio gets thrown off.

Sandwich Cookie Recipe

The second important thing to be (particularly) mindful of is the baking time. You want the cookies to bake until they are beautifully golden, particularly on the bottom edges where the cookies meet the baking sheet. Don't turn your back, cookies this thin will go from blond to burned in a heartbeat.

Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookie Recipe

Feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour, spelt flour might work as well although I haven't tested it in this recipe. I also think these cookies might be great with some sort of spice infusion, but haven't played around with that angle yet either. I like to use this sugar - but you can substitute whatever fine-grain brown sugar you have on hand.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup good-quality brown sugar / natural cane sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon big flaky sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)
6-7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

special equipment: a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 350 - racks in the top 1/3 of the oven.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. Set aside. In a separate bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the sugar and mix some more, scraping the sides of the bowl once along the way. Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla extract, scraping the sides again if needed. Being careful not to over-mix, stir in the flour mixture by hand. If the dough is on the dry side stir in the milk as well. Turn the dough out onto the counter-top, kneed it once or twice (just so it comes together) and form one large ball. Cut the dough into four quarters, then shape each piece into a ball. Flatten each of the four balls into 1/2-inch thick pancakes, and wrap each piece individually in plastic before chilling in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour.

Roll out the dough thin as can be on a lightly floured surface - wafer thin, about 1/8-inch, and stamp out using the cookie cutter. Arrange cookies 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets before sprinkling with a small pinch of salt and sugar. Bake for about seven minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet or until the cookie edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

When you are ready to assemble the cookies, place the chocolate in a double boiler (or a bowl placed over a bit of simmering water) to melt. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the center of the flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie - matching flat side to flat side. Repeat with the remaining cookies, setting them aside to let the chocolate set.

Makes 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch sandwich cookies.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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They look so professional...


They look adorable, you really have a flare for presentation.


These are so cute! I love the addition of poppy seeds - seems unexpected but intriguing at the same time.


yummy, sea salt,chocolate and brown sugar!! Can't wait to make these!!


I'm going to try these with a little anise extract. Yum!


It's like cookies all grown up. I love your recipes because they show that using natural ingredients doesn't just mean granola or hippie food! These look absolutely beautiful and I'd love to try them with some kind of chili spices.

HS: Thanks Michelle!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

Ahh, tood bad you had to wait until after your trip to Philly, to bake/enjoy those delightful sandwich cookies - but hey, they were definitely well-worth the wait, right? :0)


these reminds me of cookies from this french bakery (in paris and london) called Poilaine. delish!!


Mmmm...I want one right now! Can't wait to make them.


Heidi these look amazing. I bet a little cayenne in the chocolate would add something special too.


Beautiful! I'm definitely giving these a try, but replacing the poppyseeds with crushed earl gray tea leaves.

HS: That sounds great. Let me know how it goes!


These are lovely! I'm going to try them this weekend. One question, though -- could I use milk chocolate? I'm not a dark chocolate person, but perhaps milk chocolate would make it too sweet?

HS: No, go for it - whatever type of chocolate you like. I bet some shaved chocolate in the dough would be nice too - but not chunks though (would make it challenging to roll out thin)...


I'm not normally a huge fan of poppy seeds, however the idea of combining them with chocolate just might change my mind. I can't wait to give these a try! Thanks for the great post & pictures.


I like sandwich cookies and the way you present these makes me want one right now!

I like that you used poppy seeds, it give it that pretty spec appearence.

On the sandwich cookie front, I created a raw vegan recipe Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies using sprouted quinoa.

Thank you for another lovely post and recipe.


ooooh! these look amazing. I bet they'd be delicious with cardamom. Can't wait to try them!


These sound so good! Where can you find raw brown sugar? I don't think I've seen it before...

HS: Hi Amy, I'll update the recipe with some links. The sugar I like best for baking right now is the Alter-Eco Unrefined Ground Cane Sugar. It's available via Amazon in bulk as well.



Loved the poppy seed addition


They look delish- but one tablespoon of vanilla? Sounds like a lot, usually a teaspoon is called for, no?

HS: I used a tablespoon this time around :)


These look decadent. I would love to make these! Maybe a slice and bake method for me though, I'm too impatient to roll out and use cookie cutters! I did the slice and bake with your thin mint recipe and it worked well. Thanks for sharing!


A great recipe when do you get time to sleep.

Regards from the U K.


One look at these lovelies and I thought 'cardamon' -- even before I read the recipe. I think a pinch would go great with the poppy seeds and the chocolate!

P.S. I think you are the perfect group to ask-- favorite 2-3 restaurants in San Fransisco? (for a couple of "foodies" who will go to celebrate their 40th birthdays) Cheers!


These look so cute! i'm going for my abandoned cookie cutters tonight and make my office buddies a batch. What a great way to start a long weekend. Thank you!

I hope i roll the dough right. maybe i should go get those rubberband things for my rolling pin.


I believe you have out-done yourself...v



Obviously, there are tons of great places in San Fran, but when I was there visiting, my friend took me to Citizen Cake--not only is it a phenominal bakery, but the dinner selections are amazing as well!

Regarding these cookies--I think I'm going to try them tonight! Thanks!


These look delish! Any idea of how I can make these without eggs? Can I just omit the eggs completely?


They look good. I think they would be good minus the chocolate, spread some peanut butter and strawberry freezer jam on them.


They look good. I think they would be good minus the chocolate, spread some peanut butter and strawberry freezer jam on them.


These look amazing. They almost look like a Martha Stewart cookie! I am skeptical of the poppy seeds (not a big fan as they get stuck in my teeth) but I'm willing to give it a try.

When my oven gets fixed (having a problem with the temperature) this will be the first cookie I bake. Thanks for the excellent cookie idea.


So cute..I can't wait to try these! I love the thinness of the chocolate and cookie! Thanks!


Oh yum! I can actually smell these, and I hate to say it, but already I can feel the holiday baking season coming on.... I'm a cold-weather-food girl at heart and am looking forward to the changing of the recipes. Thanks for the precursor to oven time.

Becky and the Beanstock


any thoughts on whether i'd be ok using soy milk in these? i'm not vegan but prefer soy milk to cow's milk, so it's just what i usually have on hand. i'm never sure about substituting it when baking, though...

HS: No problem Rachel - in this case you'd be fine.


These sound wonderful. I love a crisp cookie and my husband adores chocolate. May be a match made in heaven for us. I am definitely going to make these soon.


These sound great and look beautiful!
I'm going to try to veganize these with some egg replacer. I need a good dessert to take to my mum's this weekend! Thanks!!

Jen O

Adorable! I fee certain these will be coming out of my oven in the very near future. What a great little cookie


I signed up for the e-mails just a few days ago. I'm glad I did. I have clicked on a few of the intriguing recipes listed in the column on the left, and I am impressed with their creativity, healthiness, and simplicity.

Many thanks.

HS: Thanks for the note - I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the recipes!


Waow, those cookies are SO cute!!! I just have to try your recipe tomorrow ;-) Thanks a lot.

Flo Makanai

Imagine these with a fleur de sel caramel filling instead of chocolate... Or half the batch filled with chocolate and half caramel!

HS: You and I are on the same page. I was thinking of filling the next batch with this- minus the espresso. or leave the espresso in and do a chocolate wafer cookie - yum.


How did you know I've been thinking about something thin, and crispy and wonderful? This is it! I'm so excited to try these.

Bee O'Brien

Yum. how divine. For some strange reason, I never make sandwich cookies, although I love eating them when others bring them in. Perhaps I'll have to stop being such a lazy cookie maker...

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

Gosh Heidi! Why can't I ever sit beside you on a long-haul flight? I suppose the fact that your recipe has appeared just in time for the weekend is just compensation.


nutella, or some other hazelnut-chocolate spread, might be a good alternative filling to the melted chocolate.


I live for brown sugar or rather anything with molasses in it. I love the idea of playing with different spices in these.


Have you tried using cinnamon bark oil? It would give a wonderful flavour boost to the filling. It is very powerful, so you would only need a drop.


They do look cute and not too hard to make. However, being diabetic I need to count the carbs I plan on eating to know how much insulin to take. Any chance that you could include the nutritional information with your recipes?

Sallie Schmitt

Heidi: How long will it keep?

HS: I think they are best enjoyed sooner rather than later...but they certainly keep in an airtight container for a few days.


Hi, I nominated your blog for an award. Beautiful blog, with amazing photos. Great work!


I've been experimenting with spelt lately and am so far delighted by it. For a quote-unquote healthier flour, it tastes great.

That's the first time I, or perhaps anyone, has ever written out "quote-unquote."

Aaron Kagan

The thin little layer of filling makes these very elegant. Nice cookies!


Mmm. They look amazing.


those cookies look perfect,Great work!


Those cookies sure look really good.

askms recipe

I am just so thrilled to have come across your blog! I'm baking this weekend and will try these cookies.


Heidi, I just wanted to let you know that I'm a long time reader and I've adored your recipes for ages. Not all of them work for me (black-bean brownies? Not so much) but some of them have become family favorites (my husband adores your Dad's garlic bread, and your whole-wheat pizza is a family staple). This looks like another wonderful recipe. I plan on getting your book as soon as budget allows (along with Peter R's - I'm dying to learn more about bread!)

Thank you THANK you THANK YOU for having a passion and pursuing it. It helps us part-time foodies enjoy it that much more :)


Added a teaspoon of ground ginger to the dough and it was very tasty. Cookies did not turn out as crisp as I'd expected - perhaps I was too paranoid about burning them and should have let them bake that extra minute. Still need to add the chocolate and assemble the little buggers, but Since I didn't finsh baking until one in the morning perhaps I can be excused...

Hey, where does one get flaky sea salt? Couldn't find it at whole foods.


This is my first time to visit you and l really like your site.

I love thin cookies, personally I think they are more delice then the thick one.


substitute peanut butter for the chocolate ; Yummy!


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I made these cookies to bring to a cousin's yesterday, and everyone raved!! It was wonderful to bring a dessert (which I always do) that was a bit on the healthier side. So thanks for the great recipe!



I really enjoy going over your recipes and the photos of your an avid fan of your cilantro recipes, also soba anything oriental. And your desserts are totally imaginative...You are a GENIUS! Plus you make everything sound so EASY yet I can always sense the JOY and PASSION you put into every dish! Keep it going:-) Am e-mailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

HS: Thanks for the nice note Irene.


I substituted chai tea for the poppyseed. I'm looking forward to these cookies!!


I made these last night, and mine turned out just a tad too salty. Perhaps b/c I used just regular brown sugar...? Any suggestions? Otherwise, delicious and so cute!


For the person who asked about soymilk as a sub - I've found that soymilk bakes up really well in most recipes; the one thing I'd advise you to avoid is rice milk, which is thinner and (in my experience) doesn't bake well.


Oh I can just see it now...'NO you kids may not have a cookie, those are mommy's cookies!'


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