Small Batch

Brussels Cookies, Made Virtuous At Home

By • October 5, 2012 • 18 Comments

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Every week, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today, Lara Ferroni shares a make-at-home version of one of her favorite Pepperidge Farm cookies. Lara is the author of Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home. Her new book, Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk, comes out on October 30th.

 

When I was seven months pregnant with my daughter, I got itchy. Turns out, I have a slight allergy to cottonseed oil that went into hyperdrive and, simultaneously, I had huge cravings for Pepperidge Farm cookies. Yep, one of those foods that may or may not contain cottonseed oil. I rolled the dice and as a result spent a lot of time soaking in oatmeal baths. What I would have given to have had this recipe then!

That's one of the reasons that I wrote my new cookbook, Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk. We all get cravings now and then for junky snack food. While I'm not saying that sugar and butter and flour are exactly health food, I think a little indulgence is good for the soul. But I hate the fact that those snacks also are packed with industrial oils, flavorings, and colors that really provide no pleasure and, in many cases, even a small amount can be debilitating.

These crisp Brussels cookies are super easy (and forgiving) to make. They not only skip the hydrogenated oils, but also add a bit more nutrition from whole wheat flour and oat bran. I like a little honey in the mix for flavor, but you can also skip it and increase the sugar by 2 tablespoons.

Brussels Cookies
Makes about 20 sandwich cookies

1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons honey
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon cream


Heat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and milk. Sift in the flour, oat bran, baking powder and salt; mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, on low, until well blended.

Scoop rounds (1 teaspoon for 2 inch round cookies; a bit more if you want yours larger) and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 3 inches between the cookies (they will spread!). Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute. They will flatten considerably as they cool. Then carefully move to a wire rack. Cool completely.

 

Place the warm, melted chocolate in a bowl and stir in the cream until well combined, slightly thick, and glossy. Spread the melted chocolate on the flat side of one of the cookies, and then sandwich with another. Let the cookies set before serving.

Note: Add little mint or orange peel to the chocolate for new flavors, or try drizzling a tiny bit of salted caramel sauce on the chocolate before sandwiching the cookies for an insanely delicious bite. If you want to only bake a few cookies at a time, you can store this dough well covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before baking, or your cookies won't spread properly.

Save and print the recipe here.

Lara will be answering questions about Brussels cookies on the Hotline for those of you who want to take on this project at home. For the quickest response, go to her recipe and ask a question from there -- we'll email her your question right away!

Jump to Comments (18)

Tags: DIY, small batch, lara ferroni, cookies, chocolate, brussels, pepperidge farm, how-to & diy

Comments (18)

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10 months ago Megha

I am looking forward to making these for a cookie swap this weekend!! Can I use all purpose flour instead of white whole wheat flour? Thanks!

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

these look wonderful!

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about 2 years ago Not Crocker

Ahhh, these are my favourite Pepperidge Farm cookies, but they were hard to find in Canada (at least where I was) for awhile. So glad to see an easy way to whip them up at home!

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about 2 years ago Rhonda35

When I first glimpsed at the header for this, I thought it said "Brussels Sprout Cookies" and I thought, okay, the food52 gang is getting just a little too crazy for me! Glad I looked again.

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about 2 years ago Lara

Ha! Yeah, it's an easy one to misread! :-)

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about 2 years ago 2nd Street Sue

I'm with you on the substitution for oak bran.. anyone out there have suggestion?

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about 2 years ago Lara

Try using oatmeal that you grind in a food processor or blender. Or, you could also probably just use an equal amount of whole wheat flour (although I haven't tried it, and I think it might change the texture slightly.)

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about 2 years ago Jane Eyrehead

I just made these cookies and they are perfectly delicious. I added just a speck of Boyjian orange oil to the chocolate. Really very good, and not at all hard to make.

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about 2 years ago m1800

is there a substitute to use here for oat bran?

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about 2 years ago Lara

If you have a blender or food processor, you can just grind up oatmeal. You could use it whole, but the cookies would have a very different texture.

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about 2 years ago Sauertea

Oh, this is exciting!! I love Brussels mints!!! Can't wait to try!!

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about 2 years ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

Okay, I'm back after making them (made them the same day the recipe was posted-I said I couldn't wait!)

The recipe is fabulous...I thought the 1/2 cup sugar might have been overly sweet so I cut the sugar to 1/3 cup and they turned out great; wonder if one could go as low as 1/4 cup? I will definitely be adding these cookies to my "cookie repertoire."

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about 2 years ago Lara

Good to hear... you could certainly cut the sugar, but you might then start having some problems with the texture. In addition to the flavor, the sugar caramelization helps give the crisp lacy edges.

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about 2 years ago Fairmount_market

I had a major addiction to Brussels cookies in high school and this version look delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

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about 2 years ago gretcheninbrooklyn

Anyone have a recipe for PF's bordeaux?

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about 2 years ago Lara

hmm... I haven't made them, but I think they are pretty similar to Biscoff or speculoos cookies, except without the spices.... the ingredients on the label are:

Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Sugar, Vegetable Oils (Palm And/Or Interesterified And Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Hydrogenated Cottonseed), Invert Sugar, Butter, Nonfat Milk, Cornstarch, Contains 2 Percent Or Less Of: Egg Whites, Salt And Baking Soda.

I haven't tried it, but I did find this speculoos recipe that you could probably simplify and cut into the Bordeaux shape:

http://butteredup.blogspot...

You might also substitute golden corn syrup (not HFCS) for the sugar, since the original cookies have invert sugar.

Lara

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about 2 years ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

Cannot wait to try these!!!

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about 2 years ago Panfusine

WOW, they look so splendid, it makes me want to take a swipe at the screen. & the best part.. a cookie recipe without Eggs.. Thank you for this awesome pick..