Saturday, April 21, 2012

For Earth Week: Reduced-Fat Planet Earth Sandwich Cookies with Blueberry Cream Filling

Want a cookbook-style copy of this recipe? No problem…just click HERE.

Saving the earth is usually considered a good thing. But when the earth in question is a delicious Reduced-Fat Planet Earth Sandwich Cookie with Blueberry Cream Filling, it’s best eaten, not saved.

These novel cookies not only taste great, they’re surprisingly easy to make. Kids will love them because they look fun and, well, because they’re cookies! Adults will love them because of the grown-up blueberry cream filling. (And because they look fun and are cookies, too! If they say it’s just the filling they’re drawn to, just nod your head politely to make it look as if you believe them.)

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:
  • The cookie portion is made from a sugar-cookie dough. This article includes the sugar-cookie recipe I like to use, but if you already have your own favorite sugar-cookie recipe, feel free to substitute it.
  • If you prefer a cream filling other than blueberry, it’s no problem! Just substitute the fruit preserves of your choice for the blueberry preserves in the recipe.

This recipe makes about 18 large (3”) sandwich cookies, or 36 single-layer sugar cookies

First, let’s make our sugar cookie dough:

Sift together 5 cups of all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, and ¾ tsp salt.

In a separate bowl, beat 1-3/4 cups of sugar and 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp butter substitute till smooth and light in color. (Butter substitutes tend to be either firm textured or soft; choose a soft one for this, and don't leave it out to get to room temperature  as you would with full-fat butter.)

Mix 2 egg substitute and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the butter substitute mixture.

Separate the butter substitute mixture into 2/3 and 1/3 portions.

Mix 2/3 of the flour mixture and some blue food coloring into the 2/3 portion, and 1/3 of the flour mixture and some green food coloring into the 1/3 portion. (Because the dough is naturally yellow, for the blue dough it will be necessary to use a substantial amount of blue food coloring to overcome the green color that comes from mixing blue and yellow.)

Wrap the two batches of dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour. (For working with butter substitute, I've found chilling dough in the freezer works better than chilling it in the refrigerator as you would with regular full-fat butter.)
While the dough is chilling, make the cream filling as follows:

Melt 1 cup of blueberry preserves and 2 Tbsp butter substitute in a medium saucepan over low heat.

Mix in ½ cup of fat-free half-and-half, little by little, waiting till each addition is incorporated before adding more. (Adding it too quickly may cause it to separate.)

Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half, stirring very often avoid burning. Once the mixture is reduced, pour into a separate bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the “earth dough” as follows:

Cut the two chilled doughs in half, and keep each portion in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

Break the green dough into small pieces and spread them out on a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Break the blue dough into pieces that are somewhat larger than the pieces of green dough. Place them in between the green pieces and use your hands to press them down so that they start to join together and start to resemble a flat earth-map.

Roll the dough out to about ¼” thick. (Covering it with wax paper while you roll the dough makes the clean-up easier later.) Using a 2-1/2” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds that look like earth globes. (After you’ve cut as many as you can, gently press the pieces together and roll it a second time to ¼” thick. You'll find the dough can be rolled a second time without over-developing the gluten and making the dough tough. Cut out more 2-1/2” rounds that resemble earth globes.)

Lay the cookies out on baking sheets lined with parchment or silicon sheets as shown in the photo above. Allow enough space in between for the cookies to expand to about 3”.

Bake at 375 degrees till firm, about 10 minutes, turning half-way. (As always when using two baking sheets, stagger them in the oven to allow the heat to circulate for more even baking.)

Let the finished cookies rest on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then remove to a cooling rack.

If you want to serve these as single layer sugar cookies, you’re done! To serve as sandwich cookies:

After the cookies and cream filling have cooled, place half of the cookies on the counter, flat side up.

Spread some filling on each of the cookies.

Place an unfrosted cookie on top of each, flat side down, to form sandwich cookies.

And there you have it. The world may not be your oyster, but – for Earth Week, at least – it’s your cookie, and I’d choose cookies over oysters any day!

Like what you see? For a notebook-ready, cookbook-style copy of this recipe, just click HERE.

Have a great Earth Week, and I look forward to seeing you again next week for another fun recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Those are adorable!!!! My kids would love them. :) I love your picture, too...with the "stars".

    1. Thank you, Keri! These are a lot of fun to make. :-) Glad you like the picture. Be sure not to tell anyone the cookie is on a non-stick griddle (good non-reflective black background) and the stars are actually sugar crystals. lol