These buttery, crisp, nutty cookies are absolutely delightful on their own. but they were begging to be sandwiched together with a creamy, chocolatey center that packs a punch espresso so hard it could replace your afternoon cup of coffee.
This recipe is pretty versatile. You could use any type of nut; almonds, walnuts, peanuts…and pair with fillings of all kinds. I settled on hazelnuts and chocolate/espresso because I was dreaming about affogato (ice cream drowned in espresso). My original idea was to make some kind of cookie hitting all the flavors of affogato, (kinda close here) but I’ve got some other ideas in the works.
If you know me, you know I adore soft, chewy cookies so making something with a nutty, crumbly, sandy texture is a bit out of the norm for me. But, I (the queen of soft & chewy cookies) cannot stop eating these. The texture pairs so well with the ground up hazelnuts. The edges have a sandy, buttery, caramelized flavor. They’re so delicate and dainty, just perfectly thin enough for a cookie sandwich.
- 3/4 c butter softened
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 c hazelnuts finely chopped or roughly ground (pieces should be VERY small but still have texture)
Chocolate Espresso Filling (optional)
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 c dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tsp instant espresso
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- As the oven is preheating, spread the chopped nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5-7min or until toasted.
- Allow nuts to cool on tray while you prepare the dough.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter & sugars. Mix with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg & vanilla, mixing well. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom.
- Gently stir in the flour, baking powder & salt. Once it is just incorporated, stop mixing.
- Add the chopped nuts and fold into the dough.
- Using a tablespoon scoop, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for about 8-11 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are medium golden brown.
- Allow to cool on tray.
For the creme filling (optional)
- Heat the cream in the microwave or on the stove until just almost boiling.
- Add the chocolate chips and allow them to sit in the hot cream for a minute or two.
- Add the espresso and carefully stir together.
- Allow the creme to fully cool.
- If the filling is too thin for your liking, you can add 1/4c of powdered sugar to thicken it.
- Spread the creme on one of the cookies and sandwich together.