two-fisted sandwich cookies

When I was a kid, I always went for the sandwich cookies. Two cookies plus a filling—I knew a good deal when I saw it. When you want a cookie to be dessert, sandwich cookies fit the bill. Lemon-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches make perfect cookie tarts for an afternoon party, Lemon Whoopie Pies can star at a spring celebration, and Super-Fudge Brownie-Drop Ice Cream Sandwiches are a do-ahead grand finale.

Sandwich cookies have slightly longer ingredient lists than single cookies, but their fillings are all fast and simple, and these cookies are familiar and easy to make: they just look like something special. Quick frostings, chocolate and cream truffle fillings, jam, and ice cream provide a lot of filling choices.

All of these frosting, jam, fudge, and ice cream fillings can be mixed and matched with other cookies. Many of the soft or chewy cookies that appear earlier in the book can become sandwich versions. An essential quality for any great sandwich cookie is that it is not so thick or crisp that the filling squishes out when you try to eat it. Choose flavor pairings that you like to create your own combinations. Fill Maple Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies or Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling, for example, or Almond Butter Crisps with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling.

Sandwich cookies lend themselves to a two-step or do-ahead preparation. Make the cookies one day and fill them the next. Any of these sandwich cookies can be wrapped individually and frozen for up to a month. I find it reassuring to know a batch of these cookies is ready and waiting in my freezer. The single cookies can also be frozen and then filled before serving them.

With the exception of King-Sized Raisin Pillows, which have the layers sealed into one cookie, all of these cookies can stand alone as a single cookie without any filling.

I’ve kept the size of the cookies to four inches in diameter or less. Any larger, and a sandwich cookie becomes more than a normal serving. A nice way to serve several kinds of cookie sandwiches is to cut them into quarters. They make attractive wedges and give your guests the opportunity to try several varieties. Crisp cookie sandwiches, such as Almond Butter Crisps with Whipped Chocolate Truffle Filling and Lemon-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches are better left whole, however, since they may crumble if cut. Ice cream sandwiches cut easily and can be served with sundae sauces for dipping.