Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches with Buttercream Filling

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Red Velvet cake made into a cookie and filled with a rich creamy butter based icing is just about the tastiest dream of dessert heaven I can imagine. I’ve been on a red velvet kick for months and this recipe takes the cake, even though it is a cookie. You can use this recipe anytime of year, but the heart shape and pink icing are perfect for the Valentine’s holiday. I wish you lots of love and joy as we celebrate the holiday this week, and send you big hugs and lots of cookie love.

Yield: About 22 Cookie Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

FOR COOKIES
1 Stick Salted Butter, Room Temperature
4 oz. Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 Cup Granulated White Sugar
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
2 Eggs, Room Temperature
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, plus extra for rolling dough
1 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Red Gel Food Color

FOR ICING
6 oz. Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 Stick Salted Butter, Room Temperature
2 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
2 Drops Red Gel Food Coloring
Ruby Red Pearlized Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together Butter and Cream Cheese for Cookies. Beat until smooth. Add Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add Eggs and Vanilla and beat to combine.
2. Add Cocoa Powder and Baking Powder and continue mixing until combined. Add Flour one cup at a time. Mix until incorporated. Add Food Coloring. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with a rubber spatula during process to ensure all ingredients are combined. Kick mixer up to high speed for a few seconds to finally incorporate all ingredients.
3. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a dough ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
4. Remove dough from fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rubber baking mat or other flat surface, roll out chilled dough onto surface dusted with cocoa powder (cocoa powder won’t change the gluten content of your cookie and adds an additional depth of chocolate to the flavor). Dust hands with cocoa and sprinkle on top dough to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Use heart shaped cookie cutter (or other shape) to cut cookies from dough. Cut as many cookies as possible out of each rolling of dough. Then reform into a ball, re-roll (dusting as needed with cocoa) and cut more cookies until dough is almost gone.
5. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and lay cookies on the sheet. Chill cut cookies on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes (this helps them retain their shape during cooking).
6. Remove cookie sheet from fridge and cook each set of cookies for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. While cookies are cooking and cooling begin making icing. In a large mixing bowl cream together Cream Cheese, Butter and Vanilla. Once well blended, add Powdered Sugar 1 Cup at a time, beating continuously. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add Food Coloring for pink icing (you can also leave it white). If icing seems too soft, chill for about 20 minutes to firm-up before making cookie sandwiches.
8. Pair up matching cookies for sandwiches. Scoop a couple tablespoons of icing onto one cookie (on the side of the cookie that baked on the pan, that is the inside of your sandwiches) and smoosh between the cookies to make a sandwich. Roll and sprinkle edges of icing in cookie with pearlized sprinkles, if desired, for extra sparkle.
9. Serve cookies at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container between servings. These cookies can also be made in advance and frozen if needed. Enjoy!

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