Chocolate & pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies

Rich chocolate ganache and strawberry jam are sandwiched in between buttery chocolate and pistachio shortbread cookies. The rich, chocolatey, and nutty flavors of the cookies and ganache are balanced perfectly by the bright tartness of the jam.

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The only thing better than a shortbread cookie is TWO shortbread cookies filled with chocolate ganache and jam. Talk about a heavenly combination. 

These cookies are a little time intensive between the rolling, cutting, and filling, but the components are basic and simple to master. I used homemade ganache and store-bought strawberry jam, but you could sub store-bought Nutella or chocolate spread for the ganache to make your lives easier. The one thing you’ll bake is the cookies, and I promise there is no simpler cookie than shortbread. We’ll just be making a few modifications to make the shortbread a little fancier.

Modifying basic shortbread cookie ratios

Shortbread is a classic and simple recipe that can easily be tweaked and transformed into something creative and new.  I love how easy to recipe is to remember – it’s a simple law of baking ratios. Classic Scottish shortbread uses a straightforward 1:2:3 ratio of sugar to butter to flour by weight. So if you have 50 grams of sugar, you would use 100 grams of butter and 150 grams of flour. Easy to remember and so delicious! For those of you who prefer to use cups and tablespoons – don’t worry, the recipe will have those as well. 

In these chocolate and pistachio shortbread sandwiches, I make a couple tweaks to the ratio to create a chocolate shortbread and a pistachio shortbread. I add a pinch of salt for flavor across both doughs. For the chocolate cookies, I replace some of the flour with cocoa powder. For the pistachio cookies, I add a 1/4 tsp of pistachio extract along with a 1/4 tsp of beetroot powder for the pink color. 

Tips and trick for perfect shortbread

  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature
  • Chill your dough for ~10 – 15 minutes before rolling so it will be less sticky
  • Flour all surfaces, including your rolling pin and the top of the dough to prevent sticking
  • Chill your dough for ~15 – 20 minutes before baking to minimize spreading
  • Bake your cookies on one level of the oven. Do not put multiple cookie sheets on multiple levels of the oven at the same time. This will lead to uneven baking. To help with efficiency, I will bake one sheet of cookies while I am preparing the next sheet.

Assembling the cookies

To get a cute sandwich cookie aesthetic, I use a scalloped cookie cutter I picked up from my local dollar store. I used miniature vegetable cutters to make the cut out so the jam peeps through. Remember, you only want cut-outs on one side of the cookie. To make the pistachio cookies pink, I add a bit of beetroot powder. Of course, this is purely optional, and you can leave it a creamy yellow or make the dough any color that you would like. 

To fill the cookies, I used Sally’s Baking Addiction chocolate ganache recipe. I pipe a ring of ganache onto onto my cookies using a 1/4 in. piping tip. If you don’t have a piping tip, a ziptop bag with it’s tip cut-off will work just as well. I then spoon strawberry jelly into the center of the ganache ring. 

These cookies are absolutely delightful, both to make and to eat! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do. If you try the recipe, let me know! You can comment below or tag me on Instagram @halicopteraway or #halicopteraway

Other cookie recipes I love:

Chocolate & pistachio shortbread sandwich cookies

Rich chocolate ganache and strawberry jam are sandwiched in between buttery chocolate and pistachio shortbread cookies. The rich, chocolatey, and nutty flavors of the cookies and ganache are balanced perfectly by the bright tartness of the jam.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 16 sandwich cookies

Equipment

  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients
  

For the chocolate shortbread cookies

  • 3 tbsp (37g) granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp (75g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (12g) cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (100g) all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

For the pistachio shortbread cookies

  • 3 tbsp (37g) granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp (75g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp (113g) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp pistachio extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp beetroot powder (optional)

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup chocolate ganache* (see note 1)
  • strawberry jam

Instructions
 

For the chocolate shortbread cookies

  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix on low – medium speed until a dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in cling room and chill for 10 – 15 minutes.

For the pistachio shortbread cookies

  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and optional beetroot powder. Set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the pistachio extract and mix on low – medium speed until incorporated.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix on low – medium speed until a dough forms. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a small, flattened rectangle. Wrap in cling room and chill for 10 – 15 minutes.

Shaping and baking the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a silicon baking mat. You will need more than 1 baking sheet or you will need to reuse the same baking sheet in order to fit all the cookies.
  • Shaping the cookies – remove one block of dough from the fridge and set on a lightly floured surface. Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough until about 1/8'' thick. You may have to periodically dust the surface of the dough with flour to prevent sticking. Use a 2'' cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a small shape out of half the cookies. Set cookies on your prepared baking sheet, about 1/2'' apart. Re-roll the scraps of the dough and repeat until all of the dough is used up. Repeat with the other block of dough. Chill cookies for 15 – 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
    Each block of dough should yield 15 – 16 cookies.
  • Remove from refrigerator and bake for 9 to 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until crisp. Do not bake multiple sheets of cookies on different levels of the oven at the same time – this will lead to uneven baking. Let cookies cool completely before filling.

Filling the cookies

  • Pipe or spread a ring of chocolate ganache around the edge of cookie that does not have a cut-out. Spoon a tsp of strawberry jam in the center. Sandwich with another cookie of the opposite flavor that does have a cut-out. So if you start with a chocolate cookie, then you want to sandwich it with a pistachio cookie.
  • Repeat until all cookie sandwiches are made. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Notes

  1. I made my own homemade ganache with 70g of semisweet chocolate and 70g of heavy whipping cream, using the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I let it set to room temperature before piping. If you don’t want to make your own ganache, you can use Nutella or some other thick chocolate spread.
  2. If using liquid food dye instead of powdered, add a drop or two to the creamed butter and sugar.
Keyword chocolate, cookies, pistachio, shortbread

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