Decadently Vegan Caramel-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
These flavorful chocolate sandwich cookies have a vegan salted caramel filled center and prove that vegan desserts don’t have to be boring. Even though they look complex, these cookies are surprisingly easy to make and assemble.
The recipe make around 30 cookies so it’s perfect for a get together or a bake sale. Topped with powdered sugar, these chocolate salted caramel sandwich cookies are my go-to when I want to impress guests with a vegan treat.
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The recipe is broken down into 3 parts:
- Making chocolate sandwich cookies
- Preparing the salted caramel sauce
- Assembling the cookies
If you’re pressed on time, you can make the chocolate cookies a day ahead of time. The caramel sauce can be made in advance as well since it needs time to cool completely before assembly.
How To Make Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
I find it easiest to have all of the ingredients already measured out into containers. For the chocolate cookies you’ll need:
- Powdered sugar
- Cocoa powder (Dutch-process)
- Vanilla extract
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- All-purpose flour
- Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl.
- Add in the coconut oil, water, and vanilla extract and mix until a smooth liquid forms without any lumps
- Next, add the flour and baking soda. Mix the batter with a spatula until it’s completely combined.
- Create a 1” thick disk out of the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This will make the dough easier to work with and keep it from spreading.
- Preheat the oven to 325° F/160 C and make sure to line your baking trays with parchment paper.
- After the dough is cold, remove it, lightly flour both sides, and place it between two sheets of baking parchment paper. You’ll want to roll out the dough to ¼” thick.
- Using a 2” round cutter, stamp as many cookies as possible. Remove the excess dough from around the cookies as long as the dough hasn’t warmed up too much. If it has, place the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Then transfer the cookie cutouts to a baking sheet with 1” between them. Place the dough back into the fridge for 3-4 minutes while still on the parchment paper if the cookies are too fragile to transfer to the baking sheets.
- To get the holes in the center of the cookies, use a ½”- ¾” circle cutter (or the wide opening of a piping nozzle), cut circles from the center of half the cookies. Leave the other half of the cookies uncut since those will be the bottoms.
- Bring all the scraps of dough together and repeat the rolling and cutting process. The dough from the scraps will start to get tough from overworking. You may need to re-chill the dough to prevent spreading. When in doubt, pop the dough into the fridge for a few minutes.
- Bake in the oven for 14-15 minutes, until the cookies are dry to the touch. Allow them to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
Making Vegan Caramel Sauce
When making the caramel sauce, it’s best to work slow and on low heat. You don’t want to burn the sugar. If that happens, there’s no way to salvage it and it’s best to start over with new sauce filling.
- Melt the sugar on low heat without stirring.
- Remove from heat then add coconut oil to blend, then coconut cream.
- Mix well and then return the pan to low heat, stirring frequently until all lumps are gone.
- Once the caramel is smooth, remove it from heat and wait until it stops bubbling before adding the vanilla and salt.
- Mix and transfer the caramel sauce to a glass bowl to cool completely before using it in cookie assembly.
How To Assemble Vegan Chocolate Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies
Putting the cookies together is the easiest part of this recipe and takes less than 10 minutes total. This can quickly be done right before you’re serving the vegan cookies or a few hours in advance. If made too far in advance, the caramel sauce could start to make the chocolate cookie part soft.
For sandwich cookie assembly, you’ll want to place all the cookies with the holes cut in them on a cooling rack. Then dust the tops with powdered sugar.
On a different cooling rack, have all of the cookies without holes. Place around 1 tsp of the completely cooled salted caramel sauce onto the center.
Then gently hold the powdered sugared top cookies by the sides and place it on top as close to the center as you can.
Give the cookies some time to settle. Don’t be alarmed if some of the caramel drips out the sides. If you’d prefer a thicker caramel, then next time, boil the caramel sauce a little longer so that it reaches 260°F instead of the originally suggested 250°F.
How To Store Vegan Chocolate Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies
Since the caramel is a liquid, the longer you let these cookies sit, the softer the chocolate cookies will get. Ideally, you’ll eat them the same day you make them.
Another option is to keep the chocolate cookies and salted caramel sauce separate until you’re ready to eat them. You can eat as you make them for maximum firmness. Store the cookies and caramel sauce separately in airtight containers at room temperature for a few days.
If you want to store already assembled cookies, those can also place them into an airtight container at room temperature. These sandwich cookies will only be good for a day or so though before becoming soggy.
This recipe will make close to 30 cookies which makes it great for a large gathering. It’s also a very unique take on the traditional sandwich cookies. Even if your friends aren’t vegan, they’re not going to turn down this delicious and gooey dessert.
More Recipes You May Like:
- ½ c + 2 tbsp/ powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
- ¼ c/ cocoa powder (Dutch-process)
- 1 tsp/5ml vanilla extract
- ¼ c/60ml coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 3 tsbp/45ml water
- ¼ tsp/2g salt
- ¼ tsp/2g baking soda
- ¼ tsp/2g cinnamon
- ¾ c + 2 tbsp/105g all-purpose flour
- ½ c/100g granulated sugar*
- 1 tbsp/15ml coconut oil
- 6 tbsp/90ml coconut cream
- ¼ tsp/2g salt
- 1 tsp/5ml vanilla extract
- Combine powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add coconut oil, water, and vanilla extract. Mix until a smooth syrup forms without lumps.
- Add flour and baking soda. Mix in with a spatula until completely combined. Mix a couple of extra times to bring everything together.
- Create a 1”/2.5cm thick disk out of the dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325° F/160 C. Line baking trays with parchment.
- Remove dough from the fridge. Lightly flour both sides of the disc. Between two sheets of baking parchment, roll dough to ¼”/6mm thick.
- Use a 2”/5cm round cutter to stamp out as many cookies as possible. If the dough has not warmed too much, remove the excess from around the cookies and transfer them to the baking sheets with 1”/2.5cm between them. If cookies are too fragile, place the cut dough in the fridge while still on the baking parchment for 3-4 minutes before attempting to transfer the cookies.
- Using a ½”- ¾”/12-18mm round cutter (or the wide opening of a piping nozzle), cut circles from the center of half the cookies. Use the tip of a knife to remove the excess dough.
- Bring all the scraps of dough together and repeat the rolling and cutting process.**
- Chill cut dough in the fridge for 4-5 minutes before baking to prevent spreading.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes, until dry to the touch. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, spread the sugar in an even layer.
- Melt over low heat without stirring. This will take some time. You can occasionally swirl the sugar to redistribute it as parts start to melt.
- Once sugar is completely melted, stir slightly with a silicon spatula or metal spoon*** to get final crystals distributed.
- Remove from heat (but leave the burner on) and stir in coconut oil. The mixture will bubble up and spit a little bit. The oil will not completely combine at this point, just stir until everything is smooth.
- Add coconut cream. Stir vigorously and return to heat. Continue stirring gently while heating until all the lumps are smooth and dissolved again. Stop stirring and continue heating until a candy or instant-read thermometer reaches 250-255° F/121-123 C.
- Remove from heat and wait for bubbling to settle. Once it has stopped bubbling, add vanilla and salt, stirring until combined. Pour into a glass container and set aside to cool completely.****
- Place the cut-out cookies (the top portion) on a cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Place ¾ - 1 tsp/5ml caramel on each of the complete round cookies (the bottom half). Handling gently by the edges, place a powdered cut-out on top of each caramel dollop, centering as much as possible.
- Allow caramel to settle. Some dripping will occur (see note about firmer caramel if preferred).
- Best eaten the same day, or can be stored in a single layer in an air-tight container at room temperature for a couple of days.
*Do not use raw or coarse cane sugar. It will not melt evenly.
**You can gather the scraps from this round of rolling and cutting as well, but the cookies will start to get a bit tough from overworking.
***Plastic will melt at this temperature and wood is more likely to cause recrystallization.
****If you allow it to cool completely and feel that it is too liquid, you can make a second batch and boil until the temperature reaches 260-265° F/126-129 C for a firmer caramel.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate and is for estimation purposes only.