DIY Brussels Cookies

October  3, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 20 sandwich cookies
Author Notes

When I was 7 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 Farms cookies. Yep, one of those foods that may or may not contain cottonseed oil. I rolled the dice, and 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. We all get craving now and then for junky snack food, and 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, and 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. —Lara

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. Heat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the cool. Then carefully move to a wire rack. Cool completely.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Also, 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Panfusine
  • SuzanneRobin
  • NakedBeet
  • Alyce Morgan
    Alyce Morgan
  • Lara
Lara Ferroni is a former tech geek turned food geek who spends her days exploring the food culture of the Pacific Northwest. As a writer and photographer, you might spy her digging through bargain bins for the perfect prop, or dreaming up delicious new ways to use teff, or eating and drinking her way through Portland's vibrant food culture. Her photos have been featured in websites and magazines such as Epicurious and Edible Communities, as well as over 10 cookbooks, including her own, Doughnuts (Sasquatch Books) and Real Snacks: Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without all the Junk (Sasquatch Books), as well as a food photography how-to book, Food Photography: Pro Secrets for Styling, Lighting & Shooting (Pixiq). You can find more of her tasty photos and recipes on her blogs, and

16 Reviews

Sandy October 28, 2013
I was excited to find this recipe but these didn't turn out as good as I hoped. The first batch I cooked longer than suggested at 15 min. They were still a little under-done. The second batch I cooked for 17 min. This was better but they still are not as brown or crisp as I thought they would be. Aside from cooking them even longer do you have any suggestions on how to make them more crunchy? The original Brussels are a little firmer than this recipe. The flavor is good and I hope to make these a part of my cookie favorites.
Panfusine December 11, 2012
Just made a reverse version of the cookie, added Dutch processed cocoa powder to the cookie batter and used white chocolate with zest for the filling. Turned out great! thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!
jy2nd October 24, 2012
Wow! I made one batch for a group I was hosting, and realized -- after tasting the first one -- that I needed a second batch. These are easy and wonderful. I used honey in the first batch and all (organic) sugar (only 1T additional) in the second, and found that I preferred the texture of the all-sugar cookie as it was a little more crispy.
SuzanneRobin October 16, 2012
When I added the cream my chocolate seized up! Luckily I had more chocolate on hand so melted another batch and skipped the cream- still turned out delicious! Also added some maple syrup instead of honey. yum!
Lara October 23, 2012
Hmm... I didn't have that problem, but my cream was probably not very cold (I didn't heat it, but it was on the countertop, so probably close to room temp). Normally though, the fat in the cream should keep the chocolate from seizing. But, depending on the darkness of your chocolate, it might need a bit more cream. If it happens again, try adding a bit more cream, a little at a time, ideally while the whole thing is over a double boiler.

Panfusine October 10, 2012
Just made a batch with 2 tablespoons of orange zest added to the batter.. God Help me.. I hope I'll be able to hold off on scarfing down the whole lot BEFORE I sandwich them with the chocolate!
RobertaChurchill October 7, 2012
Have you tried this with non-dairy ingredients?
Lara October 7, 2012
I haven't yet, but I think they would probably work well with coconut oil instead of the butter and either almond or coconut milk for the milk.
veggiemama October 7, 2012
Should be great with Nutella filling!
Lara October 7, 2012
STC October 7, 2012
Brussels are my secret indulgence that gets me through a rough week. I have your new book on pre-order and your Doughnuts-Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home is my "bible" to go to when I want a doughnut in the morning. Can't wait to make these up, XOXO
Lara October 7, 2012
Awesome! That's so great to hear! - Lara
NakedBeet October 5, 2012
I love these cookies from Pepperidge farm, but yes, their oils do scare me a bit. Thank you so much for translating these into more healthy treats!
Lara October 7, 2012
You are definitely welcome!
Alyce M. October 4, 2012
My husband is the cookies and milk person, but I have great memories of those cookies--and am really wanting to try this recipe. Really Nice Pic!
Lara October 7, 2012
Thanks!! Hope you enjoy them.