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Chocolate Crème-Filled Sandwich Cookies

Try this recipe and you may never buy the store-bought version again. This unconventional mixing method makes for an exceptional shortbread-like cookie. If the dough is too soft to shape into a log, chill it for 1 hour.

Chocolate Crème-Filled Sandwich Cookies Hands-on time: 25 min. Total time: 3 hr. 11 min.

Add cocoa powder or mini chocolate chips to the filling for an intensely all-chocolate cookie. Substitute caramel sauce or peanut butter for the filling.

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

• 7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3⁄4 cups) • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar • 2⁄3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt • 3⁄4 cup butter, cut into small pieces • 1 large egg white • 1 tablespoon water

For the Filling:

• 1⁄3 cup vegan shortening (such as Earth Balance) • 1⁄3 cup butter, softened • 1 2⁄3 cups powdered sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. To prepare cookies, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and next 5 ingredients (through butter) to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Add egg white and water; beat until blended.

2. Divide dough in half. Roll each half of dough into an 81⁄2 x 11⁄2–inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Cut each log into 48 (1⁄8-inch-thick) slices. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool on pans 2 minutes; transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely.

6. To prepare filling, beat shortening and 1⁄3 cup butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat in vanilla.

7. Spread about 11⁄2 teaspoons filling onto flat side of each of 48 cookies; top with remaining 48 cookies, flat sides down.

Note: You can freeze wrapped logs of dough for up to 1 month. Freeze prepared sandwich cookies in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag for up to 3 months. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Serves 48 (serving size: 1 cookie) CALORIES 86; FAT 4.5g (sat 2.8g, mono 1.2g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 1g; CARB 12g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 11mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 64mg; CALC 4mg

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