Do I even need to write this post? Doesn’t the title say it all?
Three days before Valentine’s Day, I realized I would be remiss if I didn’t post a delicious treat for you to make for your honey (or your mom, cat, best friend, self … whoever you are planning to spend Valentine’s Day with this year!) Disclaimer: Please don’t actually feed these to your cat; that would be pretty dangerous. Anyway, I could probably have whipped up a nice pudding, or mousse, even a brownie…and it would have been fairly straightforward and probably wouldn’t have taken me two days to create, photograph, and post. But…for some reason, I had my heart set on a sandwich cookie. Not just any sandwich cookie – a grain-free, dairy-free sandwich cookie with a chocolate-whiskey filling. (I’m very sorry, vegans, this cookie does have 1 egg in it and I didn’t have time to try subbing it with a flax egg. In the process of developing these cookies, however, I did come up with a delicious 5-ingredient vegan cinnamon lace cookie that I will be posting soon!)
Why did I have my heart set on a grain-free, dairy-free sandwich cookie with a chocolate-whiskey filling? Who knows. Possibly it was a dream I had (food is a main character in the vast majority of my dreams), or maybe I liked the romantic notion sandwich cookies suggest – two halves making a whole, each one bringing a little bit of delicious (aka chocolate-whiskey cream) to the relationship, all that sentimental dribble.
In any case, I knew what I wanted to make, and even though I started this process with only three days between me and Vday, the sandwich cookie gods were with me!
These cookies are awesome – the cinnamon-sugar cookie outsides are both crisp and chewy at the same time, and the bit of chocolate-whiskey cream you get when you bite into them perfectly complements the sweet, almondy exterior. They are also super cute, which is important on Vday, and could really be cut into any desired shape. (In fact, I considered doing heart shaped sandwiches but I couldn’t find my heart cookie cutter.) You do have to soak your cashews for at least 4 hours, so if I made you catch the sandwich cookie bug, go soak them right now! Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!
A couple notes about the recipe:
-If you use a standard-sized shot glass to cut out your cookies, you will end up with 16 sandwich cookies
-You will end up with a lot more filling than you need to fill your 16 cookies – this is intentional. After all, you’ll need something to dip your strawberries into after you devour all the cookies. (I’m just assuming there will be strawberries…because there will be.)
-While I typically don’t use refined sugar in my recipes, I decided to use white sugar here to get a crispier texture.
-I had some King Arthur brand almond flour left over from my baking adventures in Texas so I used that instead of Honeyville (my normal preferred brand) for this recipe. Since almond flours vary greatly in texture across brands, I cannot guarantee that this recipe will work with a more coarsely-ground flour like Bob’s Red Mill, but you are welcome to try.
Cinnamon Sugar Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate-Whiskey Cream
Make the filling:
- 1 cup cashews
- ¼ cup raw cacao
- 4 tablespoons coconut cream (scooped from the top of one can of coconut milk)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon irish whiskey
- small pinch of cayenne (approx. 1/16 of a teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Place the cashews in a non-reactive container and cover generously with cold water. Cover container and allow to soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight. (If soaking overnight, I usually place them in the fridge but many people leave them out on the counter.)
Once the cashews are done soaking, drain and rinse with cold water. Then place them in a Vitamix or other high powered blender with the rest of the filling ingredients. Process until completely smooth and then place in the fridge to chill.
Make the cookies:
- 1 ½ cups finely ground blanched almond flour (I used King Arthur brand)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup sunflower oil
- 1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Combine the almond flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix well. Stir in the oil and egg. Gather all the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic or foil, and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, until slightly chilled. (I only refrigerated half of the dough – my first batch of cookies was not refrigerated. It worked just fine, but I found that it was easier to cut out the cookies when the dough was slightly chilled.)
Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. It should be about an 1/8 inch. thick. Use a standard-sized shot glass to cut out 32 circles and place about 1.5 inches apart on the lined sheet trays. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until the edges start to brown. (This will take longer if you refrigerated the dough.) Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Assemble the cookies:
Place a small dollop of chilled filling in the center of one cookie’s underside. Press a second cookie against the filling to make a sandwich – the filling will spread so that it is just visible along the sides. Be careful not to use too much filling or you will end up with a sticky mess instead of an elegant sandwich. Continue sandwiching all the cookies. Refrigerate in a single layer just until the filling is set. The cookies can then be stacked in an airtight container and stored in the fridge.