Introduction: Coffee and Vanilla Cookies With Gingerbread Filling and Caramelized Chestnut

About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to use…

This time I will guide you through making gingerbread cream cheese filling (and caramelized chestnuts for crunchiness) sandwiched in between coffee and vanilla butter cookies.

The thing is, that I am not really fond of classic gingerbread cookies. I like the flavor, I love when the aroma of gingerbread spreads in the kitchen, but I do not like the texture of the cookie itself, it is too dry for my taste. This made me thinking for quite a long time actually, I wanted to come up with something creamy, fluffy but still having the characteristic gingerbread flavor, and I also wanted to incorporate my favorite nut of the season, chestnuts to make them truly Christmas-y cookies.

Finally I decided to make two distinctly flavored cookie doughs: vanilla and coffee, I also made a cream cheese based gingerbread spiced filling to go in between with some added caramelized and roasted chestnuts. Yum. 



For the vanilla dough:

  • 250 g butter, room temperature
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 290 g pastry flour

For the coffee dough:

  • 250 g butter, room temperature
  • 100 g confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 260 g pastry flour
  • 20 g granulated instant coffee
  • 10 g cocoa powder

For the filling:

  • 60 g butter, room temperature
  • 170 g cream cheese
  • 160 g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • chestnuts (8-10 pieces)*
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

 *Actually, half of it is enough for the recipe but the initial quantity is increased for security reasons. First, you never know what's inside the shell, some pieces may not be so perfect, and also, you never know how many of your kids will be attracted by the smell of roasted chestnuts into the kitchen and eat them before they can make it into the cookies.


  • digital scale
  • stand mixer
  • sharp knife
  • bowls
  • baking tray
  • non-stick skillet
  • parchment paper
  • large piping bag with star shaped nozzle
  • 3 small piping bags
  • cutting board
  • scissors
  • spatula
  • small sieve

Step 1: Vanilla Cookie Dough 1.

First of all, you have to sieve flour and confectioner’s sugar in two separate bowls, this will help to get a really nice texture.

Then place butter into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment and beat it on medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugar in 3 batches, make sure to incorporate all before adding the next batch. Beat until nice and fluffy. You may need to scrape down the side of the bowl in the meantime.

Step 2: Vanilla Cookie Dough 2.

Add vanilla, egg white, salt and keep beating until everything is homogenous.

Switch to low speed and add flour spoon by spoon. Again, the precondition of adding the next spoonful of flour is the previous having been incorporated with the rest of the ingredients. When you’re done with all the flour, turn the device to high speed and mix for 1 more minute.

Transfer the dough into a small piping bag. Do not overstuff it, keep in mind that the coffee dough will also be transferred into another piping bag and both have to fit into the big one. 

Step 3: Coffee Cookie Dough

Apart from starting off by sieving the flour together with the instant coffee and cocoa (those go in together with the flour), the whole process is the same. Make butter fluffy, keep on beating with sugar, salt, egg white, finally add the flour – coffee – cocoa mix. Into another small piping bag. 

Step 4: Piping

Here comes the trick. Take the large piping bag, cut off the tip and insert the nozzle. Place both small piping bags into the big one. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment and pipe the dough, starting from the center of each cookie and moving the nozzle around in a circle while pressing the bag constantly. Size is your choice, but since the plan is to fill the cookies, I suggest to go for smaller sizes this time, let’s say 5 cm diameter max.

Step 5: Chill and Bake

Chill the piped cookies (in the fridge or on the terrace in winter time) for about 20 minutes. (When chilled, it is less likely that they will spread and lose their shape.)

Bake in the preheated oven at 180 °Celsius (165 °C fan) for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool completely.

Step 6: Roast Chestnuts

While cookies cool to room temperature, it’s time to make the filling.

Let’s begin with chestnuts.

Preheat the oven to 210 °Celsius. Rinse chestnuts in cold water and dry them off, then slit the shells to stop them from bursting in the oven. Very carefully, because the knife slips very easily on them, cut an ‘X’ slit into the shell. You must cut through the shell, but try not to cut the flesh. Roast in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the slits have started to open.

Wait for them to cool a bit, but remove the shells while they are still warm. It is a lot easier to do it than when they get cold.  

Step 7: Caramelize Chestnuts

Chop chestnuts, then dump the pieces into an iron skillet / non-stick pan (no oiling needed). Heat until its smell hits your nose. Sprinkle with sugar and wait until sugar dissolves and caramelizes (it should have amber color). When it’s almost done, stir once so that the top part of chestnut bits can also get caramelized.

Transfer onto a piece of parchment and wait till it cools. 

Step 8: Filling

In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and the cream cheese together on medium speed until soft and creamy. Lower the speed and mix in confectioner’s sugar, spoon by spoon. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure that everything is fully incorporated. 

Step 9: Filling (continued)

Mix in molasses, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, switch to high speed and mix until light and fluffy. It’s showtime for the last piping bag, fill in the filling. 

Step 10: Assembly

Take two cookies, turn one of them upside down, pipe the gingerbread flavored cream cheese filling on top (that used to be the bottom...), then add a few pieces of caramelized chestnuts and cover with the second cookie. 

Step 11: Enjoy!

There you go, all you have to do is enjoy this light, fluffy, creamy sweet and flavorful treat. I hope you’ll try it and like it.😊

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