Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate stuffed sandwich cookies made with a poppy-flecked brown sugar dough, lots of vanilla, and a bit of a salty sweet crust on top.

Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich cookies need to be worth the effort. They involve multiple steps and components. There is often rolling and stamping and re-rolling involved. On top of that, usually they should look matchy-matchy, each cookie the same as the next. So yeah, there is effort and precision involved in achieving that. These are worth the fuss. A poppy-flecked, brown sugar dough has a mellow, full sweetness. The butter in the dough browns just enough in the oven to be fragrant, melding vanilla and sugar notes. Chocolate functions as binding bridge between two wafer-thin coins. They’re wonderful and worth it.side view of a stack of sandwich cookies each filled with chocolate

Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies: Tips & tricks

Here's what you're going for. Thin cookies, thin smear of chocolate. Crisp and snappy. There's nothing complcated about making these cookies, but there are a few tricks to making these cookies extra good. Listen up.
a single sandwich cookie filled with chocolate with sugar on top
Make it thin: The first tip is simple - roll the cookie 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. Like the photo below.
cookies after baking on a baking sheet
Restraint: Resist going overboard with the chocolate. You want just a bit of chocolate sandwiched between just a bit of cookie. Have a look at the photo below. Too much cookie and the ratio gets thrown off. 
a single sandwich cookie filled with chocolate with sugar on top
Bake it right: The last important thing to be mindful of is baking time. You want these cookies to bake until they are beautifully golden, particularly on the bottom edges where the cookies meet the baking sheet. This will give you snap and structure once the cookies have cooled. Don't turn your back while they’re baking, cookies this thin will go from blond to burned in a heartbeat. Go for golden!
side view of a stack of thin cookies

More cookie recipe:

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Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookie

5 from 2 votes

Feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour here, 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.

Ingredients
  • 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 brown 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F - rack in the top 1/3 of the oven.
  2. 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, knead 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Notes

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

Serves
12
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
 
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Comments

These look great! I usually have patience for one fussy cookie per season, and these might be the winner. I'm never confident when rolling things out - too thin? not thin enough? - and picked up a tip I've been dying to try: lay down knitting needles of the appropriate dimension with the dough in between, and roll out until the pin is rolling on the needles, and the dough is the proper thickness. 1/8 inch = about 3 mm = ~size 3 knitting needles. That's thin! Even if I don't use them to roll across, I'll be able to compare them to the cut-out cookie. thus have I combined my two loves, baking and knitting, at last :)

bethh

    Yes! Great tip Beth. Chopsticks are another option (if you're not a knitter). Happy baking!

    Heidi Swanson

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.

Spike

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!

Ashley

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

Candice

    Love this idea Candice!

    Heidi Swanson

I really enjoy going over your recipes and the photos of your presentation...am 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.

Irene

Heidi, 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! Susan

Susan

substitute peanut butter for the chocolate ; Yummy!

judy

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.

Fausthaus

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

Maven

Mmm. They look amazing.

Kelly

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

Hillary

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.

Maya

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

Maggie

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

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

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.

Amy

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

Flo Makanai

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

Elizabeth

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

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.

Yukiko

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

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.

RisaG

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

Steph

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

vici

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!

Elizabeth

AMAZING, Loved the poppy seed addition

yaara

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.

Lynette

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

WondrousPilgrim

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.

Sarah

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!

annie

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?

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

Nancy_Dancehall

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

Cate

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

Erin

They look so professional...

iffet

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!

Bookworm

yum. 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.

rachel

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

Natalie

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

Anonymous

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

Priya

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.

Jeni

A great recipe when do you get time to sleep. Regards from the U K.

Murray.Podro

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 :)

chris

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)...

Jen

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

Sarah

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

Alison

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

grenelle

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

Jacque

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