Sometimes the greatest discoveries are born out of failure or disappointment. Take these cookies for example. I had no aspirations towards greatness when this recipe came tumbling together in my kitchen–I did not intend to create Strawberry Milk Frosting that tastes EXACTLY like Strawberry Milk. I wish I could say that I could hit that flavor bullseye with my pure creative talent, but I am just not that good.
Instead, like many of my recipes, all of this started with a desire to use up what I had and not waste good food. I had a plan to create a set of adorable Super Bowl / Valentine’s cookies for my fella this year. A few years ago I spent some serious YouTube time learning about Royal Icing and the different consistencies that go into crafting the beautiful cookies and cookie designs that I’d always swooned over on Pinterest. This year, I thought I’d pull out this little-used talent and surprise my guy with some little football cookies with hearts on the laces and some play diagrams with little x’s and o’s. So cute right?
Well actually. It was lucky that I made a few cookies ahead of time as a test. I offered him one and then what happened next I’m not sure I even remember correctly because I may have blacked out. Witnesses have repeated the details to me so many times that I’m not sure I can tell truth from legend at this point. What I do know? What are the hard facts?–he doesn’t like my cookies. He. Doesn’t. Like. Them. On a scale of 1-10 he gave them a 4. The words store-bought came out of his mouth. #cutmyheartoutwithaspoon
Now, normally I don’t hyper-focus this much when someone doesn’t like something I make… and really no cook should. People have different tastes and preferences and they can like or dislike what they want. BUT. These are my well-received universally-loved sugar cookies! Everyone loves these cookies. These cookies have secured me job offers. These cookies have inspired children to use profanity in praising their goodness. And he doesn’t like them. /Sigh. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’m learning to cope in the aftermath of CookieGate. The key to remember is to just take one day at a time.
So. I had cookie dough already made and I didn’t want to waste it. I wanted to try and re-purpose it into something new that might have a chance of hitting more than a 4 on the deliciousness scale. Enter these Neopolitan Sandwich Cookies: Sugar Cookies sandwiched with Strawberry Milk Buttercream and drizzled with Chocolate? Heavens yes! Neopolitan was one of my favorite ice cream flavors when I was a kid because you got three amazing flavors in one scoop. It almost felt like cheating because you didn’t actually have to choose. It felt like cheating in the best way and all of the adults were somehow fine with it.
You might be wondering, does the boy like them? I don’t know yet. I’ve eaten at least 6 myself as part of my heart-healing process. They have soothed me. So before I open my shattered-self to the vulnerable possibility of a future cookie-debacle, I wanted to share them with you instead (my little Happies!) and get some real expert opinions first. You know. Just in case.
Neopolitan Sandwich Cookies
(Makes enough frosting and chocolate for roughly 12-16 sandwiches depending on the size of your cookies)
- Sugar Cookies – Mixed, rolled, cut into shapes, baked, and cooled. I use 1/2 of the Bon Appetit sugar cookie recipe here and cut them out into 3″ hearts.
- Strawberry Milk Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter – softened to room temperature
- 1 lb confectioners sugar (aka: powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 6 drops LorAnn Oils Strawberry Flavor (aka: candy oil, super strength flavors)
- up to 7 tsp water (or more if needed for consistency)
- 6 large strawberries diced very small
- Pink food coloring *optional* (I used Wilton gel)
- Chocolate Drizzle
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 1 scant Tbsp coconut oil
For the buttercream: *Note! The flavors in frosting develop over time. I prefer the flavor of this frosting after it’s had a few hours to sit and mingle together.
- Place the butter and sugar into a mixer with beater attachments and beat on low until incorporated. You may need to scrape the sides down occasionally.
- Once the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla, salt, and LorAnn Strawberry drops.
- Begin to add the water 1 teaspoon at a time. Mix thoroughly with each addition of water to gauge the consistency.
- Consistency is key with frosting–adding too much water will make the frosting too thin and will cause it to smoosh (#technicalterm) out of the cookie. You want a stiff icing consistency where it can be piped with a pastry bag but it can stand up to the sandwich.
- I typically start with adding 4 teaspoons and then go up from there.
- The weather, moisture in your home, and altitude can affect this quantity greatly.
- Once you’ve reached a spreadable but thick consistency, mix in the diced strawberries and color the frosting with food coloring if using.
- Spread a layer of frosting on a cooled sugar cookie with a knife or pastry bag. If you don’t have any pastry bags, using a Ziploc bag with a hole cut out of the corner is a great DIY!
- Create a sandwich with a second cookie. Repeat until all cookies are used.
Try not to eat too much frosting as you go.Eat as much frosting from the bowl as you want. Just remember it will taste even better if you can wait a few hours!
- Pop the cookies into the fridge to stay firm while you make the Chocolate Drizzle
For the Chocolate Drizzle:
- Set a little metal bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove or use a double boiler. Place the chocolate in the metal bowl and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Alternatively you can also melt the chocolate in the microwave (do not use a metal bowl here!). Cook for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat as needed until chocolate is melted.
- Stir in the scant tablespoon of Coconut Oil and stir until blended.
- Using a spoon drizzle chocolate over the cookies or dip them or both! There is no wrong way. I personally prefer the drizzle. The dipped sections on my cookies were good, but for me the heavier chocolate overpowered the delicate deliciousness of the buttercream. If you’re a chocolate addict feel free to ignore my opinion and dip the entire cookie! (maybe make a double batch of the chocolate then)
Suggestions for use:
- Valentine’s / Galentine’s gift
- Anniversary present
- After-lunch work dessert
- As a special treat that you hide in a secret tupperware in the back of the fridge and sneak out after the children have gone to bed.
- Soothing your heart-woes from a previous failed recipe attempt