Vanilla Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies with Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling
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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.
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.
I’ve used cornstarch in about 20 cookies recipes, including Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Spice Cookies, Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies, M&Ms Cookies, Snickers Cookies, Twix Bar Cookies, Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, Smores Cookies, Lofthouse 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nutella-Cream Cheese Filling (makes about 1 cup)
Have you ever had melting moments or melt-aways type cookies?
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