Now hear this: these cookies are it. As in, The One. I’d marry them if I could.
As a baking blogger, I sure eat a lot of cookies, so you can take me very seriously when I tell you that these are special. Once in a lifetime. If you ever make anything I put up here, make these! Now.
Whoops, I got kind of intense there. But I had to. You see, this recipe is something I can share with you, and I love sharing. In fact, I realized the other day that I probably balance out everything I overshare with the secrets I keep forever.
Yes, I have secrets. Quite a few, and that’s no joking matter.
I’ll try to explain. Whenever I’m watching a TV show and a character doesn’t expose a secret that could help clear her name, I get really frustrated. Why would somebody ever keep a secret that would make her look worse? But then I remember that I’ve done the exact same thing.
Without getting too specific (duh, it’s a secret), I once allowed a friend to believe something terrible about me, a complete untruth, in order to save her relationship with someone more important to her. I figured it was better to help her and let her think I was to blame than to expose the truth.
Years later, I look back at that decision with no regret. Do I wish, to this day, that she knew the truth? For my own sake and the sake of our damaged friendship, yes. For the sake of her own happiness and her future, no. Sometimes, we make really hard decisions.
But when we guard important secrets carefully, we have to share other things liberally. So in other areas of life, I don’t hold back. I let it all go. And these cookies are a perfect tribute to the joy of sharing.
This is not a recipe I invented, but one that was passed on to me by another valued friend. These cookies won the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in the 1950s, and boy, can I see why. Apparently, they really could bake like gangbusters back in the 50s!
The cookies are intensely buttery, like Russian tea cakes, and bursting with caramel flavor. And the cream in between has a browned butter base. If you’ve never made browned butter, you’re missing out. It’s easy, and it makes one heck of a frosting.
The only change I made to the original recipe was to chill the dough longer. That resulted in thicker and taller cookies, which aren’t as pretty, but which are infinitely more fun to bite into. One of these sandwich cookies will go a long way toward stomping on your sugar cravings.
To be honest, many aspects of my past haunt me, as do my secrets. But I try to even the balance by sharing bits and pieces of my life, and my baking, with everyone. These cookies are definitely not to be missed. Share them!
Browned Butter Sandwich Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 and 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons milk
- Cream the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Add the egg yolk and blend. Add the flour, stirring until the mixture becomes cookie dough.
- Chill anywhere from 15 minutes (for flatter cookies) to an hour (puffier cookies).
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Roll the dough into one-inch balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Press down lightly with a fork to indent the tops.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and let it cook until golden in color, anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla and gradually add the milk until the mixture becomes spreadable. If the mixture is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk.
- Sandwich the frosting between the cooled cookies. Serve or store in an airtight container.