These are great. I’m not kidding, they’re fun and tasty little cookies. And even though there is definitely a process to making them, they are pretty darn impressive for as easy as they were to make.
The cookie itself is a straight forward shortbread made with the addition of finely chopped coconut and pecans. You chill the dough and then roll it out, freeze it, and then cut out the cookie shapes. You could feasibly span the process over three days – make the dough and chill it on day one; roll it out, freeze, cut, and bake on day two; make caramel and assemble on day three.
I had some trouble with cutting out the tops – getting the circle cut out of the middle broke almost all the cookies, even using a small circular cutter. But I was able to mold them back together with my fingers before baking. Some ended up a little worse for the wear, but most baked together just fine. I found letting the dough thaw a little before cutting out the circles helped most with keeping the cookies intact.
I made the caramel on the second day. The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook uses a basic caramel recipe for lots of the recipes and I’m getting pretty good at it! I used to hate making homemade caramel, especially using white sugar (rather than brown). But I have found that using a good-quality non-stick saucepan makes all the difference. No burning, no smoking, just perfect caramel sauce every time!
The caramel becomes quite thick upon cooling, so although you let it cool before assembling the sandwiches, you don’t want to let it cool too much. The recipe says to pipe it onto the cookie bottoms with a pastry bag, but I just poured it from a spouted bowl and it worked well enough.
My caramel was too cool to drizzle properly over the finished sandwiches, but it still worked out okay. When I make this recipe again (and I certainly will) I’ll work more quickly on this part of the process.
The cookies are super sweet and I almost wonder if adding a little salt to the caramel would cut the sweetness a bit. One sandwich cookie is almost too much – so sugary! But also really buttery with a soft, satisfying crumble. Overall, a winner.