Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

 I went on a vacation to Mexico and the one thing I always make sure to bring back with me every time I go is vanilla, and lots of it.  Yes, I know you can buy it in the store (very expensive) or online (very impersonal), but there’s just something about bringing it back yourself that is very satisfying.

Plus, I use a LOT of vanilla so I kind of need to buy in bulk…

Now that I’m home, I wanted to start putting some of that vanilla to good use, and I definitely think I did!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (in a food processor). I only needed a cup of whole almonds to get a cup of ground almonds.  I do not understand that wizardry, but that’s what happened.
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¾ cup (12 T) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 t vanilla

Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 T butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

Directions

As usual with these sorts of things we’ll start with the cookies.

Take your whole almonds and grind them down in a food processor.  As I said above, 1 cup of whole almonds translated into a cup of ground almonds for me which I completely don’t understand but that’s what happened.  Maybe plan on having a cup and a half of whole almonds available, just in case.IMG_2075

Put the ground almond, flour and salt into a bowl and whisk together until well combined and set that aside.

Next, put the butter, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl and mix until well blended, then add in the almond/flour mixture and mix again until well combined.IMG_2076

Cover the dough (either in the bowl or put it in some plastic wrap) and put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.

When you’re ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and roll into ping pong-sized balls (maybe a little smaller…they’ll spread and these make fairly large cookies).  Put the balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, 6 to a sheet, and press down slightly with the palm of your hand to flatten each one.

Since we’re making sandwich cookies here, make sure to make the balls all as close to the same size as possible!

Bake the cookies at 350 for about 12 or so minutes, or until they start to get a nice golden brown color.  Take them out of the oven, let them rest on the sheet for a couple minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_2079

Once they cookies are completely cool (and do not add the frosting if they’re warm!), it’s time to make the frosting, which is super easy.

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt.  Once they are well blended, add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time so it doesn’t go flying all over everything.IMG_2080

Pair up your cookies onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper and add a teaspoon or so of frosting to one side and take the other side and sandwich that bad boy up.IMG_2082

This makes about 10 delicious vanilla cream sandwich cookies!IMG_2087

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