Yield: 10 espresso ganache sandwich cookies // Total Time: 1 hr. 15 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Delicious and creamy espresso infused whipped ganache sandwiched between two buttery shortbread cookies. Give your coffee loving friends the best gift this holiday season!
Espresso Ganache Sandwich Cookies
I’m always attempting to put coffee into as many recipes as possible, and the holiday season is no exception. These espresso ganache sandwich cookies are seriously to die for. The buttery shortbread cookies are so easy to make and roll out. The espresso ganache is infused with REAL espresso beans! While browsing online I saw most espresso ganache recipes used espresso powder or instant espresso. Infusing some crushed espresso beans into the heavy cream brings so much delicious espresso flavor into the ganache, it’s unreal. I also stamped these cookies with a holiday cookie stamp for a fun festive look, but it’s certainly not required. But anyway – on to my favorite sponsor…
If you’re looking for a great gift for the coffee lovers in your life this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place. I partnered once again with my all-time favorite coffee brand: papanicholas coffee to deliver these espresso ganache sandwich cookies. I seriously use their coffee beans every day and am so happy to be able to partner with them and spread the word! In this recipe I used their french roast espresso beans, which is a bold & rich blend with robust notes of dark chocolate and molasses. I definitely highly recommend trying some of their coffee, they have so many delicious flavors and are always the coffee I use in my recipes. You can find their website by clicking here.
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient and can easily throw off a recipe. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Don’t over-beat the butter
We’re going to beat some softened butter and powdered sugar together at the start of the cookie recipe. Be sure that you are only beating them together until they are cohesive. Over-beating the mixture will incorporate more air into the dough, which will make these cookies more puffy rather than flat.
Under bake for perfect cookies
Cookies have a nice habit of looking underdone, when in reality it’s the perfect time to pull them out of the oven. They will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet. These cookies are perfectly done once the ‘edges’ begin to turn golden brown.
Get the best espresso flavor
In order to get some really good flavor extracted from the espresso beans, we first need to crush them. Crushing them opens them up so that all that good flavor inside can be extracted out. Then, we heat the crushed beans with the heavy cream until it’s simmering. After that, remove the mixture from the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes, but no more than 20. This will help get even more flavor out of the espresso beans.
Freeze the stamped out cookies
A great way to keep your shortbread cookies from spreading too much in the oven and to keep that design stamped into them is to freeze them prior to baking. After stamping out the cookies, transfer them to your lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before baking.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the shortbread cookie dough:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the cookies
Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the cookies. I highly recommend splurging a little and using European style butter here for the best flavor.
Powdered sugar: for sweetness and giving the cookies that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
For the whipped espresso ganache:
Espresso beans: you’ll need whole espresso beans for infusing into the heavy cream. I wouldn’t recommend ground coffee as it would be harder to filter out of the cream, and not as much flavor would be able to be extracted from it. Use any flavored espresso beans that you’d like!
Heavy whipping cream: smooths out the ganache.
Milk chocolate baking bar: I highly recommend milk chocolate for the ganache filling as it’s sweetness is very much balanced out by the cream. I’ve found that semi-sweet ganache is often bitter, but if you’d like that better you can certainly use semi-sweet! I don’t recommend using chocolate chips as the stabilizers in them can mess with the texture of the ganache.
How to: espresso ganache sandwich cookies
Here are the steps to follow to make these cookies. You can find the complete recipe (which is printable!) at the end of this blog post.
1.Beat the butter and sugar. Beat the softened butter with the powdered sugar just until they are combined.
2. Add in the flour and salt. Beat the ingredients in just until a cohesive dough forms. You want to be careful to not overmix here, as it could make the cookies super tough.
3. Roll out the dough. Lightly flour a clean working surface and place your cookie dough on top of it. Lightly flour the top of the dough as well. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4″ thick.
4. Stamp and cut out the dough. If using a cookie stamp, start stamping the designs into the dough, making sure to leave a tiny bit of space between each stamp. After the dough is stamped, use a 3” diameter biscuit cutter to cut out each of the cookies after stamping. (If you are not using a cookie stamp, just cut out 3” cookies!) Repeat with the remaining dough 2x.
5. Freeze the cookies. Transfer all of the cookies to the lined baking sheet, and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
6. Bake. Evenly space the cookies out on the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1″ between each cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
7. Infuse the espresso and cream. Crush the espresso beans, then add them and the heavy cream to a small saucepan. Set the mixture of medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once the mixture is simmering, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes.
8. Make the ganache. Bring the cream back up to a simmer, then pour it through a fine-mesh sieve over the chocolate. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth ganache.
9. Thicken the ganache. Transfer the ganache to the freezer, and stir every 5-10 minutes until it has significantly thickened up.
10. Whip up the ganache. Once the ganache has cooled and thickened, use a hand mixer to whip up the mixture until it is fluffy and has lightened in color. Transfer the whipped ganache to a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice, and pipe it on to half of the cookies.
11. Serve and enjoy! Sandwich the cookies, serve, and enjoy!
Espresso Ganache Sandwich Cookies Q & A
Can I double this recipe?
- Of course! I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
Can I make these cookies ahead of time?
- You can definitely make the shortbread cookie dough ahead of time! Simply roll out the dough, stamp it, and when it’s time to place them in the freezer, you can just leave them like that overnight. If you want to make the dough even further in advance, transfer the cookies to an airtight container in the freezer once they have frozen on the baking sheet. I wouldn’t recommend making the whipped ganache until you want to assemble the cookies.
How should I store these cookies?
- A quick internet search says that ganache can be stored at room temperature for 2 days, but the food scientist in me says please do not do that! Ganache is rich in cream which hasn’t been baked and is not shelf-stable, so I highly highly recommend storing the ganache and any filled cookies in the fridge for the best food safety practices. You can certainly take the cookies out up to an hour before serving so that you don’t have to eat them cold.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these espresso ganache sandwich cookies?
If you made these espresso ganache sandwich cookies I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery (as well as @papanicholas if you use their coffee!) If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Espresso Ganache Sandwich Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Dough
- 226 g unsalted butter room temperature (1 c.)
- 90 g powdered sugar (¾ c.)
- 240 g all purpose flour (2 c.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
Whipped Espresso Ganache
- 60 g whole espresso beans (¼ c.)
- 226 g heavy whipping cream (1 c.)
- 226 g milk chocolate baking bar (1 ⅓ c.)
Shortbread Cookie Dough
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the butter and powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl. With a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together just until they are combined.
- Add in the flour and salt, and beat until a cohesive dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a clean and generously floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is ~¼” thick.
- If using a cookie stamp, start stamping the designs into the dough, making sure to leave a tiny bit of space between each stamp. After the dough is stamped, use a 3” diameter biscuit cutter to cut out each of the cookies after stamping. (If you are not using a cookie stamp, just cut out 3” cookies!)
- Repeat rolling out the cookie dough and stamping two more times. You should be able to get 20 cookies.
- Transfer all of the cookies to the lined baking sheet, and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Once the cookies have chilled, evenly space them out on the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1” between each cookie.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Leave the cookies to cool to room temperature before frosting.
Whipped Espresso Ganache
- Transfer the espresso beans to a sealed plastic bag, and lightly crush them.
- Add the crushed espresso beans and the heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan. Set the mixture over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
- Once the mixture is simmering, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes, up to 20.
- Break up the milk chocolate baking bar into small chunks and add it to a large mixing bowl.
- Once the cream has sat for 5 minutes, put it back on medium heat. Once the mixture starts to simmer again, pour it through a fine-mesh sieve over the chocolate.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth ganache.
- Transfer the ganache to the freezer, and stir every 5-10 minutes until it has significantly thickened up.
- Once the ganache has cooled and thickened, use a hand mixer to whip up the mixture until it is fluffy and has lightened in color.
- Transfer the whipped ganache to a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice, and pipe it on to half of the cookies.
- Sandwich the cookies, serve, and enjoy!