Vanilla Melting Moments Cookies with Nutella Filling — These vanilla sandwich cookies are so soft and they literally melt in your mouth! Perfect for Christmas, Easter, and family gatherings!
Perfect Christmas Sandwich Cookies
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 melting moments 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&M’s Cookies, Snickers Cookies, Twix Bar Cookies, Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’mores 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.
These cookies are 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.
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.
What’s in Melting Moments Cookies?
To make the vanilla sandwich cookies and the Nutella filling, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Cream cheese
- Cream or milk
How to Make Melting Moments Cookies
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.
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.
Do I Have to Chill the Cookie Dough?
Yes! 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.
How to Store Melting Moments
Unfilled melting moments 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.
Once filled, the 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 temperature, but if you prefer to store cookies in the fridge, that’s fine, but note the fridge will dry them out much more quickly.
Tips for Making Vanilla Sandwich Cookies
You don’t have to make sandwich cookies with this recipe, 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.
You’ll likely wind up with extra filling. 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.
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- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks; margarine may be substituted
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooking.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Storage: Unfilled 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.
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.
Once frosted, sandwich cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. I personally am comfortable storing the cookies 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.
More Cookie Exchange Recipes:
Buttery Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies — These sugary wafter cookies are buttery, delicate, and literally melt-in-your-mouth. They’re sandwiched with vanilla buttercream frosting.
M&M’s Chocolate Chip Cookies — If you’re looking for a new M&M’s cookie recipe, this is THE ONE! Soft, buttery, and irresistible M&M’s Christmas cookies!
Softbatch Funfetti Sugar Cookies — These funfetti cookies are essentially sugar cookies from scratch that have been loaded with sprinkles. They have that nostalgic boxed cake flavor but are 100% homemade!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks — If you need a ridiculously easy, no-bake dessert for a party, holiday cookie exchange, or just have a spur of the moment craving for chocolate and peanut butter, these Ritz cookies are perfect!
Softbatch No-Roll Holiday Sprinkles Cookies — These tender, buttery holiday cookies use a no-roll dough with the sprinkles baked right in so you don’t even have to decorate them!
Sugar Doodle Vanilla Cookies — Part soft sugar cookie, part chewy snickerdoodle, with tons of rich vanilla flavor! The best vanilla cookies you’ll ever make!
Santa’s Kitchen Sink Cookies — Santa and everyone else won’t be able to resist these AMAZING cookies loaded with everything but the kitchen sink!! EASY, festive, salty-sweet treats with a FUN ingredients list!!