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Mini Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies

I love baking cookies to give as gifts to my family and friends. I created this recipe for my annual holiday cookie platter and it received rave reviews from both children and adults. If the buttercream doesn't come together after all of the butter has been incorporated, add some shortening one tablespoon at a time until the mixture starts to transform. —Julie Thomas, Saukville, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 10 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package miniature semisweet chocolate chips (10 ounces)
  • FILLING:
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  • Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-1/2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, scrape seeds from center into top of a double boiler over simmering water; discard bean. Add egg whites, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until sugar is dissolved and a thermometer reads 160°, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  • Whisk egg white mixture on high until it cools to room temperature, 8-10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; gradually add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to high; beat until smooth.
  • To assemble, transfer filling to a reusable pastry bag. Pipe about 1 teaspoon on bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Store in airtight containers.

Test Kitchen tip
  • Using a small ice cream scoop will help keep your cookies all the same size.
  • You can substitute 1 tsp. vanilla extract for the vanilla bean.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 sandwich cookie: 120 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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