salt + pepper chocolate sandwich cookies with strawberry jam

February 4, 2013

salt + pepper chocolate sandwich cookies with strawberry jam | gamine dans la cuisine

During these bitterly cold and blustery winter days, I like to indulge. Spring is still a watercoloured, half-remembered dream. It's so easy and softly tempting to toss wrinkled thoughts of strappy sandals and swimsuits on the shelf and simply listen to the windswept siren's call of indulgence. My happy undoing usually comes in the form of a creamy soup, an all-butter encrusted pie, a ridiculously-rich layer cake, cured roasted meats, salty-sweet brownies, and cookies. Always true North in stormy weather.

salt + pepper chocolate sandwich cookies with strawberry jam | gamine dans la cuisine

Some things are reticent about their health benefits - whilst not exactly "healthy" healthy, they induce a subtle form of smug contentment; sleeping until 11am, calling in sick (when you're not really sick), holding up traffic for indecisive squirrels, staying up until 3am to watch a scary movie (masochistic ambiance!), and sandwich cookies.

You will need both hands to enjoy these cookies. They fall apart after one bite, leaving sticky evidence on your chin and fingertips. Precious, yes. Dramatic, absolutely. Sheer. Bliss.

salt + pepper chocolate sandwich cookies with strawberry jam | gamine dans la cuisine

Please don't let the "pepper" in the title deter you from trying this recipe, its presence is really more of an afterthought...a smoldering heat in the back of your throat. The chocolate stands out the most, followed by peppy fleur de sel. Originally I was going to fill the cookies with a vanilla buttercream, but the unopened jar of strawberry-white pepper jam had other plans.

Feel free to fill these cookies with anything you have on hand. If you roll them out properly (at least 1/4-inch thick), they will retain a pleasant softness, not quite chewy, but still highly addictive + strange weather worthy.

salt + pepper chocolate sandwich cookies with strawberry jam | gamine dans la cuisine

Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies with Strawberry Jam
makes about 20-30 sandwiches- depending on cookie cutter size

for the cookies
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
2 teaspoons white pepper
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups (that's 3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, melted

for the filling
about 3/4 cup of your favourite jam

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, fleur de sel, white pepper, and cocoa powder; Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on med. speed until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating for about one minute after each addition. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and the melted chocolate- beat on medium speed until the dough is uniform in colour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and beat for another 20 seconds.

Add about half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed for about 15 seconds- just long enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Your stand mixer may dance around the counter. :D

Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into two balls, and wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Remove one ball of dough from the fridge and divide it into two equal portions. Place one on a lightly floured surface (return the other to the refrigerator). Use your hands to knead the dough until it's pliable. {Note: If the dough is too stiff to work with, leave it at room temperature until it softens enough to roll out smoothly.} Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick circle- flouring the surface and rolling pin as needed if the dough gets too sticky. Use your preferred cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as possible. {Note: I used 3-inch cutters of various shapes- feel free to use 2 or 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters too.) If desired, use the wide end of a pastry tip to cut out holes in the center of half the cookies. Gather the scrapes and chill while you roll out the remaining dough- the scraps can be re-rolled but they may not be as pretty as the first round.

Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1-inch of space between each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets half-way through the baking time. The cookies are done when the tops look dry (and possibly cracked). Remove the sheets from the oven and onto a cooling rack. {Note: If some of the cookies puffed up in the oven, use your fingers to gently press down on the sure to do this whilst the cookies are still warm.} Allow the cookies to rest on the sheets for about 8 minutes before carefully transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before adding the filling.

for the filling
Place the jam into a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook the jam over low heat- just until it softens. Remove from the heat and allow it cool for about 10 minutes. Dollop a spoonful onto half the cookies-cover with the remaining cookies and gently press down to spread the jam. Allow the cookies to set for 15 minutes before serving.


adapted from Baked Explorations


  1. Wonderful cookies! They must be interestingly spicy and taste really good.



  2. They look like Linzers but not:)

    Never heard of the actor..or the show..'s cooooold here..

    Cute cute cookies:)

  3. Ive had a huge craving to make really spicy molasses/ginger cookies the past few weeks! But haven't. I can only imagine how these would hit the craving that I can't seem to shake. I keep telling myself, don't bake Xmas cookies in Feb. Now, I can get those flavors with these. Gorgeous work, too, with rolling them out, the jam, the photos...beautiful!

  4. Another beautiful post! Love your pictures and the recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  5. These are the prettiest hearts, Valerie! I love the pepper here, but then again I'm the one sprinkling pepper on nearly anything :).

  6. I'm always searching for something new to try and I think I've found it! These look wonderful! Lovely photos too!

    Danielle : )

  7. i love jamie bamber! i didn't know he was in a new show! these look like delicious accompaniments to some television viewing - love it!

  8. Hello prettiness!!! At first I thought they were Linzer...these sound soooo much better!

  9. Do you maybe have just one cookie remaining that you would like to share with me? Please? :) These are lovely, Val!

  10. I don't know what sounds more promising - Monday Mornings, or these cookies. I'd love to curl up with one in front of the other and test it out. I hope you give us a review in your next post.

    And pie is never too humble!

  11. these is so delectable looking!

    i've never heard for monday mornings, is it on primetime?

  12. @Lan, It's time slot is Monday at 10pm on TNT...kind of late-night prime time. :D

  13. These are so pretty! Cookies are definitely part of my comfort zone too :)

  14. You always succeed in convincing me that I want to try a flavor combination that never appealed to me before. How fast can I get these cookies baked and in my face?

  15. I love the way you write, Valerie! It's like reading a modern Jane Austen :) As for the cookies, yes, we definitely need two hands to eat these and to grab as many as I can!

  16. Yes! I could not agree more, the pepper takes the taste to a whole new level of flavor.
    Your cookies are so neat and perfect looking.

  17. I absolutely love that cooling rack! Wherever did you find it?

  18. @Jen, Thanks! That cooling rack has been with me for so many years, I can't even remember where it came from! :D

  19. such cute and clever cookies! i am so addicted to medical shows... these sweet treats are a great ode to getting through the winter blues!

  20. I actually like the pepper component here. Love the cookies, the mood of the pictures and your writing. :)

  21. So pretty! Love the little heart centers. I get excited about new shows to watch too- as good an excuse to bake these pretties as any :)

  22. Fun reading your post and writing style. These cookies look tasty and pepper doesn't deter me in the slightest especially white pepper. Hope your show satisfied all your senses :)as I know these cookies would for me.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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