German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Gluten-Free)

With high expectations, we planned all cooking ahead of the weekend. By Saturday afternoon, we were satiated and simply needed a break from the constant feeding and sampling. Even the lingering scents of food in the kitchen made it feel like just breathing caused caloric intake.

INGREDIENTS:

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE PECAN COOKIES
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
COCONUT PECAN FILLING
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces (1/2 can) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons (1-1/2 ounces) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cups sweetened shredded coconut, (about 3-1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (3 ounces), toasted

DIRECTIONS:

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE PECAN COOKIES

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325℉. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, espresso, and cinnamon; stir in chopped chocolate, coconut and pecans. Add egg whites; stir with silicon spatula until just incorporated. Mixture will be thick.

2. Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough, approximately 3 inches apart, onto 2 silpat or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time until cookie are set, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks; let cookies cool completely.

COCONUT PECAN FILLING

1. Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Transfer mixture to bowl and cool until just warm. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.)

ASSEMBLY

1.Using an offset spatula, spread about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the bottom of a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

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