Chocolate espresso and cream sandwich cookies are filled with a vanilla cream and rich chocolate espresso centers make for perfect, sweet pick-me-ups any time of the day. These soft, delicate, brownie-like cookies are sandwiched around a rich chocolate espresso filling (which is hidden by a ribbon of sweet vanilla cream). Each bite is decadent, slightly caffeinated, bliss.
I’d always believed that waking up early and functioning like a normal human being was an ability that would evade me my whole life.
Like carrying a tune, reading music, or artfully arching a single eyebrow (tell me I’m not the only one who’s spent an afternoon squinting at the mirror trying to will a single eyebrow towards my hairline, please), the skills train rolled right past me on this one and I’ve been forced to come to terms with the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be. Groggily rolling out of bed and trying to blink the sleep out of my eyes until lunchtime was my miserable fate.
The introduction of caffeine into my morning routine has been nothing short of life changing. While it doesn’t help me actually wake up (and has done nothing for my singing voice, I’m afraid), it’s become something of an auto-tune for my mornings and keeps me moving after my feet hit the floor.
I’m slightly addicted to it (Zach will attest to this) and without it I’d be sleeping now rather than writing this post. To say the least, I’m very grateful to caffeine, and may be trying to show my gratitude to the caffeine-gods by incorporating it into my recipes.
And that’s how we ended up here today with these Espresso and cream cookies and another reason to love caffeine.
Espresso has always struck me as having a very earthy, (OK, dirt-like, if I’m being honest here) taste to it, and I don’t enjoy it in large quantities. For these espresso and cream sandwich cookies, I carefully balanced the recipe to include just enough that the flavor was present without being overpowering.
To further help temper the bitterness of the espresso, I used a ribbon of vanilla cream around the center of the cookie, and then filled that with a rich, creamy espresso chocolate filling.
If you’re an espresso aficionado, I encourage you to be carefully creative with the amount of espresso that you include, another teaspoon in the cookies would be perfectly acceptable for someone who likes the pure taste of espresso (though for the filling, proceed with caution, as too much espresso powder could potentially make it a bit grainy).
I adapted the cookie part of these espresso and cream cookies from the triple chocolate cookie recipe that I used for the Peppermint Bark Sandwich Cookies I made for Better Homes and Gardens. I modified it a bit to suit these cookies and they came out perfectly.
I wanted airier, lighter cookies than my standard go-to brownie cookies, and these bake up with an almost meringue-like shell in each supremely chocolaty bite. They’re soft enough to bite into the center without accidentally squeezing out all of the filling. They’re delicate and crackly, so allow them to cool completely and exercise some care and gentleness when sandwiching them around their filling.
Hopefully these help you get your morning on the right track 😉
Espresso & Cream Sandwich Cookies
Cookie recipe adapted from BHG
Chocolate Espresso Filling
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips melted & cooled (57g)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 113g
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine dark chocolate chips and butter pieces in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well, microwave for another 15 seconds and then stir well again. Repeat for 15 seconds until chocolate and butter are completely melted and well-combined.
- Set aside and allow to cool (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine eggs, egg white, and sugar and gently stir together.
- Gradually turn stand mixer up to high speed and whisk for three minutes (mixture will be slightly lighter and thicker).
- Add chocolate to mixture and use a spatula to stir together until evenly combined.
- Stir in flour mixture (do not overmix).
- Drop cookie dough by 1 1/2 Tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing at least 2" apart.
- Bake on 350F (177C) for 10-12 minutes (tops should be set).
- Allow cookies to cool completely before removing from cookie sheets and filling.
- Beat softened butter with an electric mixer until creamed. Gradually add sugar until completely combined.
- Beat in milk until frosting is smooth and silky
- Stir in vanilla extract. Use a spatula to scrape the frosting into a piping bag (I used one fitted with a Wilton 2D tip, but just using a Ziploc bag with a hole snipped out of one corner would work as well) and set aide.
Chocolate Espresso Frosting
- (you can use the scraped-clean bowl you just used for the vanilla frosting -- save a dish!)
- In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips at 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until chips are completely melted. Set aside and allow to cool slightly (about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally).
- Cream room temperature butter with an electric mixer. Stir in slightly cooled chocolate and beat well.
- Gradually add sugar, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally.
- Sprinkle in espresso powder, salt and vanilla extract, stir well.
- Gradually add heavy cream, increase speed to high and beat for 1 minute.
- Spoon into a piping bag (or a Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off)
- Pair off your cooled chocolate cookies so each cookie has a mate. Pipe a circle of vanilla frosting on the bottom of one cookie, fill the circle with piped chocolate espresso frosting.
- Top with another cookie and serve!
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