Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Crisp, buttery, maple-flavored shortbread cookies, sandwiched around rich maple syrup cream filling — it simply doesn't get any better for all of you maple lovers out there. This recipe, courtesy of King Arthur Flour employee-owner Melanie Wanders, was the runner-up entry in our 2014 "Crunch Time: The Great King Arthur Flour Cookie Challenge," a fund-raising event for our local medical center. Note: While the dough can be rolled and cut as instructed, we've found that using cookie stamps adds a beautiful decorative touch (pictured at right). See "tips," below, for making these simple yet elegant stamp cookie sandwiches.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
22 to 25 mins
Total
1 hr 52 mins
Yield
18 medium (2") sandwich cookies
Maple Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, salt, sugars, and maple flavor.

  2. Add the flour and mix just until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. The dough can chill longer than 30 minutes, but if it does, allow about 15 minutes for it to warm a bit and soften before rolling it out.

  3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough about 1/8" thick.

  5. Use a cutter to cut the dough into shapes — leaves, stars, hearts, circles, your choice. To make the thicker stamped cookies pictured above, see "tips," below. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're beginning to brown a bit. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan.

  7. To make the filling: Mix together all of the filling ingredients except the milk, stirring until smooth. If the filling isn't spreadable, add a bit of the milk to soften its texture.

  8. To assemble the cookies: Spread the bottom of half the cookies with filling; if you have a scale, about 14g (1/2 ounce) is a good amount for each. Top with the remaining cookies.

  9. Store cookies, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • An easy way to dress up these cookies is to use cookie stamps. We recommend doubling the ingredients for the cookies (since you'll need more dough to make an equal number of sandwiches) and adding 3/4 cup (71g) almond flour to the double batch to achieve a better imprint in the baked cookies. Here are some other tips for cookie-stamp success:

    1. Chill your dough for a full 2 hours before starting the stamping process.
    2. Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of dough, rounding them into balls if necessary. Lightly dip one side in flour, and place them flour-side up onto an ungreased baking sheet.
    3. Dip each stamp in flour before pressing it onto the dough; repeat before each use.
    4. Firmly tap the stamp against the baking sheet if the dough happens to stick to the stamp. If the dough sticks really badly, clean out the stamp, reroll the dough into a ball, dust the dough and the stamp with flour, and try again!
    5. Remove excess dough around the stamped pattern before or after baking.
    6. Remember, you're making sandwich cookies: be sure to make an equal amount of each stamp pattern.  
    7. Stamp cookies may take a few minutes longer to bake because of their thickness. Aim for 23 to 28 minutes.