Pastry chef Paola Velez kicks off season two of Pastries with Paola with her twist on a nostalgic favorite.
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Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

We're officially back with another season of Pastries with Paola, and pastry chef Paola Velez has a fun recipe up her sleeve for episode one—Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies. They're made with crisp cookies, also known as langue de chat, similar to ladyfingers with a rich, buttery chocolate milk chocolate ganache sandwiched in between. The treat is inspired by one Paola loved growing up.

"When I make these cookies, I just get filled with nostalgia," she says. "When I was 12 and I would go after school to the bodega, I would just go ham on these cookies. So good. So tasty, so light, so fluffy. It's just amazing."

Finished with a drizzle of more chocolate—dark chocolate this time!—and some bright sprinkles, the cookies are a festive snack you'll definitely want to keep stocked in your fridge. Read on for Paola's method and follow along with the video below.

Start with the Batter

For the cookie batter, you'll need unsalted butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, kosher salt, vanilla bean paste, large egg whites, and finally, all-purpose flour. First, beat the butter, sugars, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until they form a pale and fluffy mixture; then, beat in the vanilla bean paste. The egg whites go in next, followed by the flour, which you'll want to mix on low just long enough to incorporate it; you don't over-develop the gluten.

Pipe and Bake

Once your batter is done, decide what size you want your cookies to be—mini, large, or a mix of both. If going mini, grab a large piping bag and cut 1/2-inch off the tip; if opting for larger cookies, cut off 3/4-inch. If trying both sizes, you'll need two piping bags. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and pipe your cookies onto them 1 1/2-inches apart, piping 1 1/2-inch long strips for the smaller cookies and 2-inch long strips for the regular-sized ones. It's important to leave that space between them so they have room to expand in the oven.

Once piped, bake the cookies in a preheated 400°F for seven to nine minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time. The bottoms of the cookies should be golden brown but the tops should still be pale. Repeat the process until you've used all of the batter—if re-using baking sheets, just make sure they've cooled completely first. Transfer the baked cookies along with the parchment paper to wire racks so they can cool.

Make the Whipped Ganache

While the usual filling for these chocolate sandwich cookies is made with chocolate and heavy cream, Paola opts for a rich whipped milk chocolate ganache instead. To make it, first melt the milk chocolate in the microwave. Then, grab your stand mixer again—fitted with a whisk attachment this time—and briefly beat the softened butter until it's smooth. Then add the melted chocolate and beat briefly to incorporate, followed by the vanilla bean paste and kosher salt. Beat the mixture until it's pale and fluffy, and then transfer it to a piping bag so you can fill the cookie sandwiches.

Assemble

Snip 3/8-inch off the tip of a piping bag and grab a cookie, positioning it so the browned flat side is facing up. Pipe the filling onto the cookie, leaving room around the edges so that it doesn't squish out when you (gently) place the other cookie, browned side down, on top to form the cookie sandwich. Repeat the process with the remaining cookies and ganache and then transfer them to the refrigerator to set.

Decorate, and Enjoy

Last but not least, you'll need one more chocolate component for this recipe—some melted dark chocolate to garnish the cookies. Once you've melted the chocolate, add it to a piping bag, cut a very small hole off the tip, and then decoratively pipe thin lines onto the cookie sandwiches. If you'd like, you can give them a little extra flair by topping them with rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils. Just refrigerate the cookies until they're set, and then let them come to room temperature for 10 minutes before taking a bite and enjoying all that chocolatey goodness.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies