WOW. My daughter declared that these are the best cookies I have ever made!
They are composed of crispy and crunchy, thin toffee cookies sandwiched with fabulous brown-butter buttercream. The filling is the perfect complement to the toffee flavored cookies.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sohla El-Waylly. I modified the method and increased the amount of filling. I also used toffee with chocolate- now I’ll have to try them without as well. Amazing!
The original recipe notes that these cookies are ideal for shipping and sharing because they have a long shelf life. They didn’t last very long in my house! 😉
Yield: 34 to 36 sandwich cookies
For the Cookies:
- 227 g (about 1 1/2 cups) English toffee bits, preferably without chocolate (such as Heath Bits O’Brickle)(I used Trader Joe’s Toffee Chips with both dark and milk chocolate, coarsely chopped)
- 112 g (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
- 3 T (42 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, white and yolk separated, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups (224 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/3 cup (40 g) sliced almonds, or more, for garnish
For the Brown-Butter Buttercream Filling:
- 16 T (227 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp plus a pinch Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/8 tsp Morton kosher salt
- 320 g (2 2/3 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
To Make the Cookies:
- In a food processor, process the toffee bits, sugar, baking soda and salt until the toffee is mostly ground and the mixture is sandy, about 1 minute.
- Transfer the toffee mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer).
- Add butter, egg white and vanilla. Mix together with the paddle attachment on medium until creamy and fluffy, stopping once to scrape the bowl and paddle, about 2 minutes.
- Add flour, and mix on medium-low until the mixture comes together into a soft dough, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a disk. Wrap and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes before proceeding. (I wrapped each disk in plastic wrap.)
- Dust a piece of parchment paper and dough with flour. Top with a second piece of parchment paper.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/8-inch thick between the two sheets of parchment (the thickness of two stacked pennies), turning the dough frequently to ensure it moves freely, dusting with more flour as needed. Each sheet of dough will be about the size of a standard sheet of paper.
- Place the dough on a flat surface (I used a cutting board) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter dusted in flour, cut out cookies from one sheet of dough. Using an offset spatula, transfer rounds to a parchment paper lined rimmed sheet pan, placing another sheet of parchment paper between layers. (I stacked the rounds between sheets of plastic wrap but it was slightly difficult to remove them once frozen- parchment paper seems like a better plan.)
- Repeat with the remaining sheet of dough.
- Gather and knead together any scraps, refreeze and re-roll, repeating until all the dough has been rolled out for a total of about 68 to 72 cookies.
- Wrap the rounds of dough on the sheet pan with plastic wrap; freeze on sheet trays for at least 30 minutes before baking. (Alternatively, once the cookies have firmly frozen, stack them between parchment in a freezer-safe container or zipper-lock bag for up to 3 months.)
- Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. (I used the convection setting.)
- Whisk together the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and evenly brush on the tops of half (34 to 36) of the chilled cookies.
- Sprinkle the yolk-brushed cookies with almonds, pressing gently to adhere.
- Bake the cookies until deeply browned like a pretzel, switching the sheet trays from top to bottom and rotating from front to back halfway through, 10 to 14 minutes. (I simultaneously baked 3 pans of 12 cookies each for 10 to 11 minutes on convection.)
- Bake the remaining cookies (without almonds) at the same temperature for the same duration.
- Let cookies cool completely on the sheet pans.
To Make the Filling:
- Set a piping bag in a tall and narrow container, like a deli quart container, and fold over the top edge to secure.
- Flip over the cookies without almonds. (You need to pipe the icing onto the cookies immediately after mixing, so make sure you are set up.)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until foamy, about 3 minutes.
- Continue cooking butter, stirring and scraping frequently with a stiff silicone spatula, until the sputtering has subsided and the butter solids look deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the butter and any brown bits into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large bowl if mixing by hand).
- Stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Sift over the powdered sugar.
- With the paddle attachment, mix on low until creamy and combined, about 1 minute, stopping once during mixing to scrape the bowl and the paddle. (You can also mix with a stiff silicone spatula until creamy and combined.)
- Transfer the icing to the piping bag and cut a 1-inch wide opening at the tip. (I used a round piping tip instead.) The icing will be warm and fluid.
- Pipe a scant tablespoon of filling onto a flipped cookie and immediately top with an almond-topped cookie.
- Gently press to adhere so that the filling reaches the edges of the cookie.
- Repeat with remaining cookies and icing. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.