Chocolate Caramel Sandwich Heart Cookies

  in Desserts, Recipes

Adapted from Food and Wine

Makes about 18 sandwich cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed. Scrape out the dough and pat it into two 6-inch disks.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using a floured 3-inch heart cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible and transfer them to 2 large ungreased baking sheets. Gather the scraps, press them together. Roll out the scraps and cut out more cookies.
  3. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until they have puffed and the tops look dry. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second disk of cookie dough.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the cream and 4 tablespoons of the butter and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool until thickened and barely warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and beat in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla until the filling is fluffy.
  5. Arrange half the cookies on a work surface. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center and spread almost to the edges with a spoon or small offset spatula. Cover with the remaining cookies, tops up; press gently to form sandwiches. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Transfer the cookies to a platter and serve. Keep any remaining cookies in a tightly covered container. Will keep for a week.