For Christmas I received the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. It’s a gorgeous book with tons of recipes and beautiful color pictures accompanying most of them. I also really like that it contains tips and how-tos to make the recipes easier to duplicate. Shane flipped through the book and requested these cookies so I decided to give them a shot for our New Year’s Eve party.

On a positive note, the cookies were tasty and the end result looked just like the picture in Martha’s book. However, I found the dough very difficult to work with. It softened up quickly after coming out of the freezer so if you don’t cut the cookies and get them on the baking sheet very quickly, you’ll have a mess on your hands. I had to refreeze the dough more times than the recipe called for because it became unmanageable so these ended up being fairly time consuming. That said, I’ll probably make these again sometime and see if I can be more successful.

Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Cream Filling
from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and beat to combine.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and divide in half. With floured hands, shape each piece into a flattened rectangle. Wrap each half with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness, stopping every so often to release the dough by running an offset spatula underneath. Each rectangle should end up being about 14 x 11 inches. Transfer each rectangle to a prepared baking sheet and freeze until very firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place one rectangle on a clean work surface. Working (VERY) quickly cut out rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. If the dough softens too much, return to the freezer for a few minutes. Transfer rounds to parchment lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Gather scraps, reroll and cut out more rounds. Repeat with remaining rectangle.

Bake the cookies until the centers feel firm when lightly pressed, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cream Filling

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine all ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

According to Martha, the recipe yields 2 dozen sandwich cookies. I was able to make 11 sandwiches though my cookies were definitely bigger than 2 inches.