These Chocolate Stuffed Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are like a crunchy hot fudge sundae! Shatteringly crunchy vanilla cookies sandwiched with fudgy chocolate filling between, these will satisfy even the most zealous chocoholics in your crowd!
Shortbreads may be my favorite cookie of all time. Delicate, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and just sweet enough to satisfy, they are heavenly to me. Be sure to use unsalted butter or European butter or they may come out too salty.
Did you know that European butter, like Kerrygold has much less salt than American butters? You can use unsalted butter in either case, but you don’t have to worry as much about over-salting recipes when using European butters – plus they have a lower percentage of water making your baked goods richer and luscious.
My recipe has cornstarch in it which makes these cookies incredibly tender. While not the most “traditional” of shortbread recipes, they are remarkably easy to make and guaranteed never to get tough or chewy. If you are making these with regular flour instead of gluten-free, there is little chance you can over mix them thanks to the cornstarch.
If you have issues with corn, you can use tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot in place of the cornstarch. This is one case in gluten-free baking where the quality of your rice flours really makes a difference. I use the superfine ground flours from Authentic Foods, guaranteed to never give you gritty baked goods again!
The “filling” for these cookies is actually the leftover fudge frosting from the yellow cake I posted last week – a multipurpose ingredient that I love! The Artist loved the frosting (a rare occurrence as he prefers unfrosted cakes) and wanted to find something else to use it with, so we came up with the idea for these cookies.
The filling is intensely chocolatey, packed with flavor from the cocoa powder. I would not use too much filling or it may overwhelm the delicate cookies. But if you are making these of people who adore chocolate, you can’t use too much, LOL.
You can store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container, but if you are serving them on hot days, refrigerate them for about 20 minutes to firm up the filling just before serving. Because the filling is pure butter, it melts easily and keeping them cool will help avoid really messy hands, LOL.
I hope everyone enjoys their barbecues, cookouts, picnics, and pool parties today. These Chocolate Stuffed Vanilla Shortbread Cookies are the perfect sweet treat any time of the year. Have a wonderful holiday and Happy Chocolate Monday!
- Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
- 1-1/2 cups (192g) cornstarch (or tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot)
- 2 cups (240g) unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter, softened
- 10 tbsp (70g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste (preferred) or pure extract
- 2 tsp water, only if needed
- Chocolate Filling (or Frosting)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 112.5g, 4 oz) butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups (338g) confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup (89g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup whole milk or half and half, or as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Prepare the Cookies: In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour and salt; whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugars and beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour/cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beating until you have a smooth dough. If you have trouble getting the dry ingredients blended in, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times. There should be enough liquid in the butter to make the dough come together, but if not, add a little water and keep beating until the dough is smooth. Refrigerate dough for 10 to 15 minutes to make it easier to handle. Keep the dough in the refrigerator when not scooping cookies onto baking sheets to keep it firm.
- Portion the dough using a 1-tablespoon spring-loaded ice cream scoop into small walnut-sized balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart. You will be able to fit 12 to 14 on each sheet. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a wet glass.
- Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until just lightly brown on edges - do not over bake. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet a minute or two before carefully transferring (they are delicate) to wire racks to cool completely. Continue forming and baking the cookies.
- Make the Chocolate Filling: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sifted powdered sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the bowl. Add the vanilla, cocoa, and milk, beating until fully incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; be sure there is nothing caught beneath the beater. Continue beating until smooth. Turn the mixer to medium high. Beat until light, fluffy and of spreading consistency. If the frosting is too thick, slowly add more milk or half and half, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up the butter slightly.
- Set up a piping bag with a large round or star tip and scoop filling into the bag until about half full.
- You can use the filling immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for about a week. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before using.
- Assemble the Cookies: Turn half the cookies over with the bottoms up. Pipe some of the chocolate filling on each one and top with a second cookie, flat side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Continue until you have filled and sandwiched all the cookies.
- Baked and cooled cookies can be layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Yield: about 60 to 70 single cookies or about 25 to 35 sandwiched cookies
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