Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling

These cookies remind me of cookies on Christmas cookie platters that I ate growing up.

But those were just plain cookies. I enhanced these with Nutella. Why not.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

The cookies are so soft, they literally melt in your mouth. I always wondered what it was that made this particular type of cookie have a melting-away sensation, but now I know what it is: cornstarch.

Cornstarch is a true workhorse in cookie-baking because it helps create a super soft texture and Softbatch-style results. A couple teaspoons is all I’ve ever used for soft, supple, tender cookies.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

I’ve used cornstarch in about 20 cookies recipes, including Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar CookiesPumpkin Spice CookiesPeanut Butter Coconut Oil CookiesM&Ms CookiesSnickers CookiesTwix Bar CookiesCaramel Corn Chocolate Chip CookiesSmores CookiesLofthouse Soft Sugar Sprinkles Cookies and more.

These cookies also use cornstarch, but rather than 2 teaspoons, I used one-half cup. That’s what gives them their buttery soft, melt-away qualities.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

The dough is extremely easy to make and it’s egg-free, and it’s also free from baking soda or baking powder. Although I haven’t tried the dough using vegan butter or margarine, I’ve seen recipes that call for ‘either butter or margarine’, so I think you’d be safe to keep these vegan.

Simply beat the butter, then add flour, cornstarch, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and mix until the dough comes together. My dough started out very dry and crumbly, but after a couple minutes, it came together perfectly, to the point it was quite soft.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

I made exactly 12 cookies using my medium 2-inch cookie scoop, using about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. I love small batch cookie recipes. I don’t want dozens of the same cookie, and I definitely don’t want it all at once. I’m ready for a change by cookie #10 with most recipes.

Because there are no eggs or chemical leaveners, both help cookies rise and stay thicker while baking, it’s mandatory you chill the dough. Cold dough is the only thing that will prevent the cookies from spreading into flat pancakes while baking, and is a must.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

They’re on the large size for sandwich cookies (way bigger than an Oreo), but since I never eat just 1 cookie at a time and always need at least two, I have my requisite two cookies, bundled together with a creamy, rich, Nutella-cream cheese filling.

Of course you don’t have to make sandwich cookies with them, but they’re a very blank-canvas cookie, and may be a little on the boring side without a filling.

You could also add lemon zest or lemon extract, or peppermint extract, to the dough to jazz them up. If going the lemon route, a tangy lemon buttercream would be great. But I don’t love lemon as much as I love Nutella.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

I made the filling by using 3/4 cup Nutella, 1/4 cup light cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and a splash of cream. You’ll need to play with the cream ratio to get your frosting to combine.

I find that not all jars of Nutella are the same. Sometimes the Nutella is very dry and sometimes very gloppy and runny. I had a dry jar this time around so needed to compensate by adding more cream that you may, and in the process made about 1 cup of filling and had some leftover. You will probably, too.

It’ll keep in the fridge for at least 1 month. Make sure you forget about the leftovers about midnight when you, a spoon, and the jar want to become BFFs. Eating Nutella that’s doctored up with cream cheese and sugar is the best midnight snack ever.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

You can also just add a smear of Nutella, peanut butter, or Cookie Butter/Biscoff and skip the step of making a filling. However, without adding the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar, those spreads on their own won’t have as much thickness, body, and Nutella especially can be pretty runny, but they’ll work if you’re in a rush.

When you pick up a cookie, they feel solid and dense in your hand, but upon biting into one, they softly crumble and melt away into a smooth, buttery haze. They’re feathery soft and tender.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

The buttery cookies are a great blank canvas for the chocolate intensity of the filling. The flaky cookie crumbs, contrasted with the smooth creaminess and robustness of the slightly tangy filling, is a great texture and taste contrast.

Cornstarch. A winner every time.

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft & they literally melt in your mouth. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling - So soft that they literally melt in your mouth! And the filling is the kind you want to eat by the spoonful!

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Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling

These buttery cookies are so soft and literally melt in your mouth. They're solid in your hand, but upon biting into one, they softly crumble and melt away into a smooth, buttery haze. The cookies are a great blank canvas for the intensity of the chocolaty, slightly tangy, Nutella-cream cheese filling. The cookies can likely be made with margarine or a vegan buttery spread, thereby keeping them vegan since there's no egg. There's also no baking powder or baking soda in these feathery soft and tender cookies, so chilled dough is mandatory. Optional tweaks include adding peppermint extract or lemon extract/lemon zest to the dough and if going the lemon route, a lemon buttercream would be a great filling. Optionally, using a smear of Nutella, peanut butter, or Cookie Butter/Biscoff rather than making a proper filling is a time-saving tip.

Yield: 12 medium cookies, or 6 hefty sandwich cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks; margarine may be substituted to keep cookies vegan)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling (makes about 1 cup)
3/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (light cream cheese is okay)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 3 tablespoons cream or milk or as needed, adjust to desired filling consistency

Directions:

  1. Cookies - To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric hand mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the remaining cookie ingredients. Mix on low speed until incorporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Dough will progress from very crumbly and sandy, to soft and combined. After dough has combined; don't overmix. Dough will be soft, and on the sticky and tacky side.
  3. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form 2-tablespoon mounds (I made 12). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten slightly with the tines of fork to create a criss-cross pattern (or use your palm or a flat drinking glass bottom if you don't want a pattern). Cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter (there are no leaveners or eggs to help them stay thicker; you're relying on chilled dough).
  4. Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. They should not be 'browned' and should stay a pale white/cream shade. Do not overbake because cookies will firm up as they cool.Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet  for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooking. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. Unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
  5. Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling -  To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric hand mixer), combine first four ingredients (through vanilla), and beat on medium-high speed to incorporate.
  6. With the mixer running, slowly add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until filling combines and desired consistency is achieved Note that Nutella seems to vary and some jars are dry and some are very runny; this significantly effects how much cream to add.
  7. Spread a generous 2+ tablespoons of filling on 6 cooled cookies, and match them up with the 6 unfrosted halves, and join together to create sandwiches. You'll likely have leftover filling. It will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Eat with a spoon or use for a future baking project. Sandwich cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I personally am comfortable storing the cookies (the filling has cream cheese) at room temp, but if you prefer to store cookies in the fridge, that's fine, but note the fridge will dry them out much more quickly. Unfrosted cookies will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Have you ever had melting moments or melt-aways type cookies? 

   

87 Responses to “Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling”

  1. #
    51
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — November 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Anything with a cookie filling is always a plus in my book! And with Nutella – yes! I haven’t had Nutella in weeks. I think I’m due for a Nutella fix.

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Ala — November 6, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I think the real part that keeps me excited every time I see a new recipe post from your blog is the moment it captures–that nostalgic, melt-in-your-mouth cookie one from way back when? Such a shared feeling! I’d make these cookies just for the nostalgia of it, but they do sound like an amazing pairing. Thanks for sharing, Averie!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 6th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      What a nice comment, Ala, and thanks for saying that! :)

      Reply

  3. #
    53
    Mercedes — November 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I can’t tell you how much I am dying to taste one of these cookies! I can imagine how soft the cornstarch make them and that Nutella frosting looks so dreamy! I will be making these for the holidays without a doubt!

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Valerie — November 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Simply irresistible! I can tell by the photos that these cookies are melt-in-your mouth perfection, Nutella is just icing on the cake/cookie. :)

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Chrish — November 12, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Hi Averie Sunshine,
    These sounds like Yummy..!!
    This cookie looks delicious and adorable.
    I love cookies most.I read your recipe its really unique and easy to make.
    You Share creative resource. I really appreciate with it.
    Thanks For Sharing….

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Sarah — December 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Hi! Huge fan of yours! I made the dough for these last night and went to make them a bit ago however when I pulled the cookies out of the oven the spread into a giant cookie! I followed the recipe to a T and chilled the dough overnight… I am at a loss since your recipes are normally AMAZiNG! Any idea?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — December 29th, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Hi Sarah sorry that these spread for you. Honestly, don’t know what to say. The recipe is adapted from these http://www.argostarch.com/recipe_details.asp?id=432 which given that Argo is a cornstarch company I trust their recipe for these and I had no issue with them, to the point mine were pretty puffy. Are you using a high quality flour like King Arthur? All other brands have less protein/gluten and things will spread more, rise less, and I highly recommend using KAF. Butter, I always use TJ’s. Some brands have more water in them. That could do it. The type of cornstarch could do it. All of these things are little nuance things but maybe if enough nuances added up, they could become bigger deals. But the biggest is the flour, and chilling the dough. And silly as this sounds, are you 100% sure you measured correctly? I have so many people who think they grabbed a 1/4 cup measure when they really grabbed the 1/3 cup type of thing. It happens to me too. Not saying that’s what you did, but maybe just being in a rush? Just trying to troubleshoot with you b/c sounds like you’ve made lots of my stuff and I hope you can try these with success. LMK what you come up with…

      Reply

      • Anna replied: — August 3rd, 2014 at 2:07 pm

        Very disappointed with the cookie! Followed the recipe exactly and the cookies spread out into mush. Pictures are very misleading. This recipe absolutely does not work. Brand of ingredients would not have that large of an impact.

        • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 3rd, 2014 at 2:56 pm

          I’m sorry that you didn’t have success with them. The pictures aren’t meant to be misleading. They’re what I made and the recipe I used is the one that’s typed out. The cookies have no chemical leaveners so cold dough is very important and I strongly believe in King Arthur all-purpose flour and actually yes, brands of ingredients do vary widely. For example, KA has about an 11% gluten content, Pillsbury/Gold Medal are about 9%. That can be very significant in baking. Thanks for trying the recipe. It’s very similar to the Argo recipe http://www.argostarch.com/recipe_details.asp?id=432

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