DIY Brussels Cookies

October  3, 2012
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

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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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