Then these cookie sandwiches are for you.
Is it me or does V-day just scream “CHOCOLATE!!!” Maybe it’s just my interpretation of the holiday. Yeah, yeah, sure…it’s a day to celebrate your significant other/crush/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse…but there seems to be a lot of V-day emphasis put on CANDY. I don’t mind one bit. In fact, I spent many years WITHOUT a Valentine and would still indulge in plenty of V-day candy. Being single never stopped me from treating myself to something sweet on that dreaded day. Plus, my father always bestowed upon each of his daughters a cute heart-shaped box of hand-picked chocolates/candies every V-day. He would tell us we were HIS Valentines first. He still does this. And I love it.
Can we take a minute to talk about salted caramel? Are you guys sick of the stuff yet? I am still completely head-over-heels in love with it. It’s such a simple yet genius combo. I’ve always had a serious weakness for caramel in any form. I love it warm and on top of ice cream, stuffed in candies, doused in chocolate, or simply sprinkled with sea salt. Delicious stuff. Years ago, I came up with a salted caramel buttercream for a cake I was making. It was so fabulous, I knew I had to do it again.
The filling for these cookie sandwiches is that basic buttercream recipe. It’s light and fluffy, sweet and salty, and…it’s just wonderful. It took a lot of self-control to not eat half the filling before the cookies were sandwiched together!
The cookies are pretty flippin’ fabulous in their own right too. Super fudgy and dense and packed with chocolate flavor. They are perfect for housing that dreamy buttercream (I always type out “butterdream,” which is actually not a horrible description) filling. The two textures together are fantastic.
Definitely add these to your “must make” list…whether you have a Valentine or not. If I were still single, I’d house a batch of these all by myself. No problem. No regrets.
Just make sure you (or your Valentine) has a large glass of milk to take these down. It’s mandatory. And glorious.
Valentine’s Day Fudge Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel Filling
(makes 12-14 cookie sandwiches)
For the Cookies:
6 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Filling:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
Sea salt, to taste
2-4 tablespoons salted caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe’s brand – it’s delicious!)
Red or pink food coloring (optional)
For the Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the chocolate and the butter. Microwave on low for 1 minute, stopping and stirring the mixture every 15 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and instant espresso. Set aside. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, water, and vanilla on high until well combined and frothy. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients in batches, mixing after each addition. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Using a small ice cream or cookie scoop, scoop out the batter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until the cookies have puffed slightly and cracked. They will deflate slightly as they cool. Cool completely.
For the Filling:
While the cookies are baking, make the filling by beating the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat the mixture until incorporated. Add the salt and caramel, tasting as you go, and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the food coloring, if using.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the filling on the flat side of a cookie and then top with another cookie, pushing down slightly. Continue until all cookie sandwiches are made. Store in an airtight container.
Cookies lightly adapted from here.