Wow, these were some good cookies. I made them to celebrate my friend Sarah’s 10,000th day. The fact that I almost made them again less than a week later is proof that you need to try them. There are very few recipes that I repeat—why bother when there is so much left to try? This is a recipe I will make again and again. These delicate sandwich cookies melt in your mouth and the combination of the toasted, nutty, buttery cookie with the tangy, sweet cream cheese filling is really all I could ask for in a sweet. I might go make some right now.
This recipe is from a recent cookbook purchase, The Sweet Life by the very talented Kate Zuckerman. The book features desserts from Chanterelle in New York City. It is a beautifully photographed book and so far I have been really happy with everything I have made from it. At first I was turned off by the tone of the writing, something about it felt too bossy. Zuckerman can be very didactic and controlling. I found myself wanting to rebel against her, refusing to scrape down the bowl when she told me to. Eventually I gave up control and decided to follow her directions precisely. It worked, and I now enjoy that she is in control and I have confidence that she will not lead me astray.
Walnut Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (two sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
Cream Cheese Filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
Combine the walnuts and 1 tablespoon of the flour in a food processor and grind to a fine powder. In a dry bowl, whisk together the walnut powder, remaining flour and salt and set aside.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and continue to beat until it is fully incorporated and the batter looks smooth and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the dry mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture. using a rubber spatula, fold together for a few turns. With the mixer on low speed, mix the dough until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of teh bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for another 30 seconds.
Divide dough in half and using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Form dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigherate for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut as many 1/8-1/4 inch slices from each log of dough as possible and place the cookies on prepared cookie sheets. (alternately, you could roll out the chilled sough and cut into shapes- this seems like two much work for me, but I am sure it would look lovely.) Bake the cookies until golden brown and you smell the toasted walnuts and butter, 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool before proceeding with filling.
To make the cream cheese filling, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fit with the whisk attachment and beat until the filling has increased in volume, lightened in color and formed stiff peaks, 4 to 5 minutes.
Using a piping bag or teaspoon, dot half of cookies with the cream cheese filling and top with remaining cookies to form sandwiches. Serve within 5 hours of filling. (The cookies will loose their delicious crunch if you do it any earlier)You can bake the cookies and store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days ahead, then fill them the day you plan to serve them.
November 25th, 2008 at 4:50 pm
Yum, Tim! Thanks for making these. You made my 10,000th day sweet!
November 25th, 2008 at 10:08 pm
those look delicious! anything that has a yummy cream cheese filling has my vote :)
November 27th, 2008 at 12:24 pm
this is delicious! I haven’t tasted cookies with cream cheese felling. You got me there with walnuts…. @drooling now@
Karin's Mom says:
November 27th, 2008 at 5:59 pm
Well, Karin has limited my responses to boring, predictable comments. However, she is not very fast and I know I can push the send button, quicker than she can edit. I found your use of unsalted butter exquisite–light and crisp—or as Karin would say when she was little—thick and creamy, like a twinkie.
Karin's Mom says:
November 27th, 2008 at 6:02 pm
Tim! I think you should pursue your passion in book form. I would be delighted to add editorial zing to your delicious cookie fantasies.
Karin's Mom says:
November 27th, 2008 at 8:39 pm
Karin is at Walmart, now, so we can talk. You are cordially invited to any Sunday dinner (24 hour notice required), so I can share my “down from the farm,” ancient Danish secrets. I hope we can meet someday, because you sound fun. Do you have any gluten-free recipes for a friend of mine, who cannot enjoy cookies? Okay, well I just heard the door and Karin is back, so we have to part.
November 27th, 2008 at 9:22 pm
Karin’s Mom! I will be taking you up on the offer for a down-home dinner. Your friend should check out this blog: http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/ it is really amazing and dedicated to gluten-free cooking.
I’ll look forward to meeting, and I hope Karin enjoyed Walmart (I can’t believe they are open on Thanksgiving!)
Karin's Mom says:
November 30th, 2008 at 6:34 am
I have forwarded the website to my friend and I thank you. Maybe we can gather after Christmas. I love your blog and cannot wait to try the potato dish. Have fun at work!
November 30th, 2008 at 10:27 am
This thread is amazing. Karin’s mom, can I come too? I don’t have a website but I am also fun.
Rosemary-Walnut Butter Cookies « Supper In Stereo says:
December 19th, 2008 at 2:49 pm
[…] a rosemary cashew recipe. Thinking about Tim reminded me of another recipe he posted recently, for walnut sandwich cookies. Thus: rosemary–>cookies–>nuts–>walnut cookies–>rosemary walnut […]
January 10th, 2009 at 3:50 pm
i love that you celebrated Sarah’s 10,000 day. it’s like celebrating groundhog’s day! who does that?!
as crazy as it is, it inspired me to calculate my own. i’m 6 days away! i’m so glad i read this before i’d missed it! if i had a food processor, i would make these in honor of the occasion!
April 11th, 2009 at 8:30 am
I just pulled these cookies out of the oven, and they smell fantastic. My mom was lecturing me about how much butter was in them, but she got pretty quiet after she tried one. I cannot wait to take them over to my friend’s house for our Back to the Future Marathon!
Karin's Mom says:
April 20th, 2009 at 1:16 am
Dear Fun Sarah,
I was just browsing Tim’s website and found you had replied. Of course you are invited! Maybe we will invite Karin too.
November 25th, 2009 at 8:32 am
My hips and I can certify these as magically delicious — and I haven’t even put the cream cheese filling on yet. Damn you and your crisp, delicate shortbread delights!
November 25th, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Hey Jenn, Glad you liked them. Those cookies remain one of favorites!
December 15th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
how many cookies does this recipe typically yield?
December 15th, 2009 at 6:54 pm
Hi Gilly, I think I would get around 24 sandwich cookies out of this. They are so good!
June 22nd, 2011 at 7:50 pm
Great cookies. I took them to a party – and they were the first to go. I made the cookies into a drop cookie – which saved a lot of time. I frosted the top of the cookies. So easy. Can also use a buttercream icing on top with butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk. Yum! Thanks for a delicious recipe – will go into my recipe file. Definitely a keeper!