Sweet Sandwiches - Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies - Editors at Taste of Home

Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies: Bake up 368 sweet sensations with three cookbooks in one - Editors at Taste of Home (2017)

Sweet Sandwiches


COOKIES ARE MEANT TO BE FUN, RIGHT? SO IF YOU’VE NEVER MADE SANDWICHES WITH THEM, NOW’S THE TIME! THEY’RE OH-SO CUTE, AND THE CHOICES FOR COOKIE-FILLING COMBINATIONS ARE ENDLESS. CONSIDER THE STACKED SNACKS FOUND HERE OR TRY CREATING YOUR OWN!

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BIG BATCH

Chocolate Mint Wafers

I guarantee a batch of these chocolaty treats with cool mint filling won’t last long around your house. They’re so pretty piled high on a glass plate.

—ANNETTE ESAU DURHAM, ON



PREP: 30 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 5 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 7 1/2 DOZEN


2/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING

2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup half-and-half cream

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Green food coloring

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and egg. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 1 1/2-in. cookie cutter and place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 5-6 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Combine filling ingredients; spread on bottom of half of the cookies and top with remaining cookies.

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

I love anything with peanut butter, so this recipe for soft banana cookies with a yummy peanut butter filling is perfect. Using a cookie scoop keeps them nicely rounded and all the same size.

—JESSIE SARRAZIN LIVINGSTON, MT



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES:  ABOUT 2 DOZEN


1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional confectioners’ sugar

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture.

2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 1 tablespoon on each; top with remaining cookies. Dust with additional confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

These little delights are spiced just right. They combine two popular flavors into one. Roll the chewy cookies in sugar before baking for a bit of crunch.

—JAMIE JONES MADISON, GA



PREP: 25 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 2 DOZEN


3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup molasses

1 large egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

FILLING

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup marshmallow creme

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. Combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Shape the dough into 1-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 3 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to 1/2-in. thickness with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For filling, in a small bowl, beat butter and marshmallow creme until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and extract.

4. Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 1 tablespoon on each; top with remaining cookies.

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BIG BATCH

Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake Cookies

I created this recipe because I just love carrot cake and wanted to be able to take it with me anywhere. I entered my recipe in the Los Angeles County Fair, and the cookies not only won first place, but also were named Best of Division.

—MARINA CASTLE CANYON COUNTRY, CA



PREP: 50 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 4 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon rum extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup raisins

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons crushed pineapple

Additional confectioners’ sugar

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extracts. Combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the walnuts, carrots and raisins.

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir in walnuts and pineapple. Spread over the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Sprinkle both sides with additional confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator.

TO MAKE AHEAD Package cookies in an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in a single layer before filling.

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Raspberry Coconut Cookies

My mother gave me the recipe for these rich, buttery cookies. The raspberry preserves and a cream filling make them doubly delicious.

—JUNE BROWN VENETA, OR



PREP: 20 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 2 1/2 DOZEN


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING

1/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons 2% milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, coconut, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place cookies 1 1/2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets; flatten with a glass dipped in flour.

3. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on wire racks.

4. In a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Place 1/2 teaspoon of preserves and a scant teaspoon of filling on bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I’m a busy mother of two young children. I work in our school office and help my husband on our hog and cattle farm. When I find time to bake a treat, I like it to be a special one like this. The creamy filling gives traditional peanut butter cookies a nice twist.

—DEBBIE KOKES TABOR, SD



PREP: 20 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 44 SANDWICH COOKIES


1 cup butter-flavored shortening

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 to 6 tablespoons milk

1. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Shape into 1-in. balls and place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to 3/8-in. thickness with fork. Bake at 375° for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread on half of the cookies and top each with another cookie.

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Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Baking a fun treat is a must when my four grandchildren come for “Grandma Camp.” This year I’ll recruit the oldest, Henry, to help pipe the cake batter.

—LINDA SCHEND KENOSHA, WI



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 2 DOZEN


1 package red velvet cake mix (regular size)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (6 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and extract; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes.

2. Cut a 1/2-in. hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag. Transfer dough to bag. Pipe 1 1/2x1-in. hearts onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing hearts 1 in. apart.

3. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

4. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are a hit with kids and adults at my annual holiday party. For extra flair, mix food coloring or crushed candy canes into the filling.

—AMY MARTIN VANCOUVER, WA



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 3 DOZEN


2 packages devil’s food cake mix (regular size)

4 large eggs

2/3 cup canola oil

Granulated sugar

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine cake mixes, eggs and oil; beat until well blended. Shape into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten with bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar.

2. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until tops are cracked. Cool for 2 minutes before removing cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and extract until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

4. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container.

“These cookies are so good and you can vary the filling. Kids love them, and they don’t last long at our house!”

—RENA 55 FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

TOP TIP

Choppy Choices

If the word “chopped” comes before the ingredient when listed in a recipe, then chop the ingredient before measuring. If the word “chopped” comes after the ingredient, then chop after measuring.

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Caramel Creams

These cookies are delicious plain, but I like to make them into sandwich cookies with a browned butter filling. In a pinch, use canned frosting instead of making your own from scratch.

—BARBARA YOUNGERS KINGMAN, KS



PREP: 20 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 3 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons butter

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Combine the flour, pecans and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Shape into two 10-in. rolls; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

2. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

3. For filling, in a small saucepan cook butter over medium heat until golden brown. Pour into a large bowl, beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough cream to achieve spreading consistency. Spread on the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

Mocha Sandwich Cookies

I’ve had cookies that melted in my mouth, but not as much as these do! I’ve made several versions, but I like to make them as sandwiches with an almond-mocha filling.

—AMY KALTENMARK MERCHANTVILLE, NJ



PREP: 20 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 2 DOZEN


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

FILLING

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted and finely chopped

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Shape dough into 3/4-in. balls; press lightly to flatten. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

3. For filling, in a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat in cream and extract. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, coffee and boiling water; stir to dissolve coffee granules. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in almonds. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Spread filling over the bottom of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator.

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Chocolate-Cherry Sandwich Cookies

I make these often at Christmastime, but they’re also great for summer parties. Chilling the cookies before you dip them in chocolate is important because it firms up the filling.

—AMY SAUERWALT COLUMBIA, MD



PREP: 35 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 3 1/2 DOZEN


4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, drained

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 package (12 ounces) vanilla wafers

18 ounces milk chocolate candy coating, melted

Red nonpareils or red colored sugar

1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; stir in cherries and extract. Spread 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture on bottoms of half of the wafers; cover with remaining wafers. Refrigerate 1 hour or until filling is firm.

2. Dip sandwiches in candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; sprinkle with nonpareils. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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BIG BATCH

Coconut-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Similar to linzer cookies, these shortbread treats have a luscious caramel filling. They take a little bit of time to make but are well worth it.

—CATHY GRUBELNIK RATON, NM



PREP: 35 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + STANDING ✵ MAKES: 4 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

FILLING

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon light corn syrup

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Divide dough into two portions. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the dough is easy to handle.

2. On a floured surface, roll each portion to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a 1-in round cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, for filling, in a large heavy saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add corn syrup; cook until syrup turns golden, about 5 minutes (do not stir). Gradually stir in cream and butter.

4. Spread a scant 1/2 teaspoon caramel filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Let stand for 2 hours or until set.

Whoopie Pies

These soft cupcake-like treats have been a favorite of mine for many years. They’re especially fun to assemble with kids.

—RUTH ANN STELFOX RAYMOND, AB



PREP: 15 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 5 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 1 1/2 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup baking cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 cup buttermilk

FILLING

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 cups marshmallow creme

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with water and buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 5-7 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a small bowl, beat filling ingredients until fluffy. Spread on bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

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Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Living in the town of North Pole, it’s no surprise that I enjoy Christmas baking! My mom and I used to make these cookies together. Now that I am married and living in Alaska, I love to bake them for my own family. They remind me of home.

—HEATHER PETERS NORTH POLE, AK



PREP: 30 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 2 DOZEN


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Confectioners’ sugar

6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

1. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion to 1/8-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2-in. round cookie cutter. Roll out remaining dough; cut with a 2 1/2-in. floured doughnut cutter so the center is cut out of each cookie.

3. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

4. Spread melted chocolate over the bottoms of solid cookies. Place cookies with cutout centers over chocolate. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam in center of each cookie.

Root Beer Float Cookies

A hint of good old-fashioned root beer flavors these chewy-soft cookies. They’re great with ice cream!

—JIM GORDON BEECHER, IL



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 2 1/2 DOZEN


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon root beer concentrate

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

FILLING

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon root beer concentrate

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and root beer concentrate. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Shape dough into 3/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

3. In a small bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

TO MAKE AHEAD Package cookies in an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper, and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in a single layer before filling.

NOTE This recipe was tested with McCormick root beer concentrate.

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FREEZE IT

Berry-Filled Butter Ribbons

Tangy boysenberry is an unusual flavor for a cookie, but it goes well with chocolate. I change the sprinkles and even the type of chocolate to suit the season.

—AMY SAUERWALT COLUMBIA, MD



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 2 1/2 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup boysenberry preserves

1 package (12 ounces) dark chocolate candy coating, melted

Assorted jimmies or sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder; gradually beat into creamed mixture.

2. Using a cookie press fitted with a ribbon disk, press long strips of dough onto ungreased baking sheets; cut ends to release from disk. Cut each strip into 2-in. lengths (no need to separate them).

3. Bake 6-8 minutes or until set (do not brown). Recut cookies if necessary. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Spread preserves on bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Dip each cookie halfway in candy coating; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with jimmies. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.

FREEZE OPTION Wrap dough in plastic wrap; place in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze. To use, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight or until dough is soft enough to shape with a cookie press. Proceed as directed.

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Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies

Chocolate lovers will find these cute triple-chocolate goodies irresistible. Two luscious cookies, a yummy mousse-like filling and mini semisweet chips make them memorable.

—JILL PAPKE OCONOMOWOC, WI



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 1 DOZEN


1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

GARNISH

1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes (mixture will be sticky).

2. Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until edges are set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

4. In a large bowl, beat the shortening and butter until fluffy. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.

5. Spread chocolate filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 2 tablespoons on each; top with remaining cookies. Roll sides in miniature chocolate chips for garnish. Store in the refrigerator.

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FREEZE IT

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Everyone gets a kick out of this fun take on the trendy cake. Take a shortcut and use packaged cream cheese frosting for the filling.

—JUDI DEXHEIMER STURGEON BAY, WI



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 2 DOZEN


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon red food coloring

1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup baking cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

FILLING

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

TOPPINGS

White baking chips, melted

Finely chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, sour cream, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in cooled chocolate.

2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread filling on the bottom of half of the cookies; cover with the remaining cookies.

4. Drizzle with melted baking chips; sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until serving.

FREEZE OPTION Freeze cookies in freezer containers. To use, thaw cookies in covered containers. Fill and decorate as directed.

Oatmeal Sandwich Cremes

Whenever I take these hearty cookies to a family get-together or church bake sale, they appeal to many palates. They’re worth the little extra effort.

—LESLEY MANSFIELD MONROE, NC



PREP: 20 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 15 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 3 DOZEN


3/4 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup raisins

FILLING

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash salt

1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, water and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and raisins.

2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass. Bake at 325° for 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

NOTE As a substitute for each cup of self-rising flour, place 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup.

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FREEZE IT

Nutty Pie Crust Cookies

I like Italian cream cake, so I used it as inspiration for this cookie recipe. The splash of orange liqueur in the filling makes it special.

—SONJI MCCARTY-ONEZINE BEAUMONT, TX



PREP: 15 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ BAKE: 10 MIN./BATCH + COOLING ✵ MAKES: ABOUT 3 DOZEN


1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

FILLING

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons orange liqueur, optional

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat butter, flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt until crumbly. Beat in cream. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with floured 1 1/2-in. round cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Place pecans and coconut in a small bowl; toss to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup coconut mixture. In another bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, salt and, if desired, liqueur until creamy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in remaining coconut mixture. Spread over bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Place reserved coconut mixture in a shallow bowl. Roll sides of cookies in coconut mixture.

FREEZE OPTION Transfer wrapped disks to a resealable plastic freezer bag; freeze. To use, thaw dough in refrigerator until soft enough to roll. Prepare, bake and fill cookies as directed.

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