Copycat Pepperidge Farm Brussels Cookies




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These Copy Cat Pepperidge Farm Brussels Cookies  are dead ringers for the originals…they take a bit of effort, but the result is well worth it!

You might already know that I have an obsession with the Pepperidge Farm treats from my childhood.  Have you tried my Cold Chocolate Snacking Cake?  I nailed that recipe just like I nailed these cookies…they aren’t difficult to make, but they are delicate and time consuming.  You bake them by teeny weeny 1/4 teaspoonfuls, and only 6 or so at a time.  Let’s just say they are a labor of love.  There is no definitive copy-cat recipe online, so I had to do some sleuthing.  I tried 3 versions and came up with the best.  So you’re lucky… I  fell into all the pitfalls so you don’t have to.

One thing that makes this process fun is that Brussels are a fairly unusual cookie.  They almost have a praline type of texture, minus the nuts, of course.  That paired with the dark chocolate center layer makes them very sophisticated.

I was surprised to read these cookies have been made since the 1950s, when Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin discovered a local bakery on a visit to Brussels and purchased the rights to their line of fancy chocolate cookies (Milano was another of them). A quick search on the Internet reveals that the likely source of the Brussels crisp outer cookie is the Swedish Oatmeal Lace cookie, a vintage recipe that spreads when baked and crisps up almost like candy when cooled.  If you sandwich some melted dark chocolate in between two of them, you’ve got a dead ringer for the classic Pepperidge Farm Brussels.

You know the best part about making Brussels cookies from scratch? You can put an extra thick layer of chocolate inside. Or customize them with white chocolate. Talk about a thrill.

You need a light touch to make these cookies, they are very fragile.  But if you’re careful you’ll end up with a uniquely elegant result.  I found the silpat silicone mat to be indispensable, You can try using parchment paper, but It didn’t work as well for me.  You need to watch the oven like a hawk; these bake fast, and over-bake even faster.  They are ready when they are golden around the edge.  Let them cool for about a minute before easing them onto a cooling rack.  I only baked about 6 at a time because they need a lot of attention.  In this case I recommend using chocolate chips for the center, since they tend to melt up thicker than baking chocolate, which is good here because you don’t want chocolate dripping through the lacy texture of the cookie when you fill it.

Brussels Cookies, just for fun
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Brussels Cookies, just for fun

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, finely ground (use your mini processor)
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted shortening
  • 2 Tbsp heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 375F
  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat, this is important.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and blend the dough well.
  4. Using 1/4 teaspoon as a measure make small balls and place them on the silpat lined baking sheet, a couple of inches apart.. Bake for for 5 minutes until they are golden around. Let stand a few seconds before removing from pan to a cooling rack. You'll need a very thin spatula to do this. The cookies harden as they cool.
  5. When the cookies are completely cool, flip them over and match them up in pairs. Lay them out on a piece of waxed paper.
  6. Put the chocolate in a glass measuring cup and heat in short bursts in the microwave, stirring in between until just melted.
  7. Spread a small amount of chocolate onto the bottom cookie, and then top it with another. You can use a small spoon and spreading knife, but do it very gently as the cookies shatter easily. Let the cookies sit to harden, or put them in the refrigerator. Once they are filled and chilled, they will be a little more sturdy In fact they taste great straight from the fridge.

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Bridget Greene
    July 13, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I’m thinking of making the Brussels cookie I wanted to find what kind of cream do you use was it whipping cream??

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      You can use heavy cream or whipping cream Bridget, I just updated that on the recipe.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    April 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Hi
    What can I use instead of shortening?

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 2, 2017 at 6:48 am

      I’m not sure, Kathleen, these cookies are so thin and delicate, and they need to spread just the right amount. I don’t think butter or margarine would work in the same way. Shortening is 100% fat, while butter and margarine have water content as well, and that changes the results in baking. If it was a cake you could get away with it, but this lace cookie recipe will be much more sensitive to changes. Let us know your results if you try!

      • Reply
        Kella
        February 8, 2018 at 2:31 pm

        What about coconut oil? What can I use for the corn syrup?

        • Reply
          Sue
          February 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm

          Not sure about the coconut oil, you’d have to experiment. And for corn syrup, again, these cookies are so specific it’s hard to know, you could try honey or even molasses.

    • Reply
      me
      October 23, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      maybe clarified butter left to cool and harden. It would be close to 100%

  • Reply
    Bonnie
    October 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I have a question about the oats. Is the 1/2 cup measure ground oats or whole oats and then processed.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Measure the oats first, Bonnie!

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking
    August 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    I found this on the FB group Food Bloggers Who love recipe round ups bc you linked right above me, and I just had to see what these were all about! I LOVE Brussels cookies. Pinned to try these out when I have some time for the “labor of love”

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Lindsey, I’ve found some great recipes that way, too :)

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 24, 2013 at 5:54 am

    These look wonderful. Brussels are my absolute fav and I’m definitely going to try this.

    I request a recipe for the mint stuff in the now-extinct mint Brussels. Several years ago the mint Brussels were discontinued and I was SO sad.

    • Reply
      Bailey
      November 18, 2017 at 11:58 am

      FYI – They are back as a “holiday edition” … I got some at Walmart on a special display and sadly have already eaten one bag in 48hrs. Mint Brussels are the BEST! I’m actually scrolling thru comments to see if anyone shared the mint part of the recipe …

      • Reply
        Sue
        November 18, 2017 at 12:15 pm

        Ooooh, I love those too!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    February 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    A little late to the party, I know, but I thought I’d offer a critique anyway. If I found this recipe, someone else may as well. Be warned…

    At 375-380°, they took between 6-6:30 to finish. At 5 minutes, they were still cookie dough. They are about half the thickness of PF’s Brussels and look/taste nothing like them. Of course, from the pics, I knew they wouldn’t look the same going in. But the taste? Not even remotely close.

    And then there’s the OIL!! Good lord! If they weren’t so brittle, I feel sure I could wring them out and find a puddle on the counter! I don’t have a silpat, but parchment worked perfectly, perhaps because they were so well lubricated from all the shortening!

    Oh, and the recipe makes 4 dozen, not three. And that’s with cookies that turned out to be slightly larger than Pepperidge Farm’s.

    I did half of them with plain chocolate, the other half with mint. These are somewhat improved by the chocolate, if you don’t mind chocolate oozing from every pore… what a mess! Regardless, there is no way they are what was advertised. Not even close.

    Guess I’ll keep searching for a real Brussels recipe. Sure won’t be making THESE again!

  • Reply
    Sally
    September 25, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Just made these – at 1/4 teaspoon a piece, this recipe sure makes a lot of cookies! Although absolutely scrumptious, these aren’t exactly like the real Pepperidge Farm cookies… I think I may experiment with more oatmeal to try and get them less “lacy” next time. Or maybe refrigerating the dough? Any thoughts?

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Pepperidge Farm “Brussels” cookies are among the best cookies they make! And even better are their “Brussels Mint” Cookies, although they are almost impossible to find (maybe they’ve been discontinued).

    It’s great to know that now I’ve got a source – I’m making some this weekend! Thanks so much for the recipe. (the cookies are so good, any amount of effort is worth it)

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      November 9, 2012 at 5:19 am

      Yes, the mint ones were unfortunately discontinued a few years ago.

  • Reply
    grace
    April 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    i’ve never seen any of these brussels cookies to which you allude; what a shame! i’ll be honest–these look like cookies that’d drive me crazy attempting to make! :)

  • Reply
    Lyndsay Wells
    April 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    You are the second blogger today who I am super excited to find! As I scrolled down your page admiring your photos and incredible recipes I knew there would be a treasure trove here! I’m looking very forward to following you.

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    These look UNREAL! After making some incredibly thin chocolate cookies last year, I am hooked on thinner cookies! This is a great recipe to try next. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    April 6, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Never tasted Brussels cookies – but don’t they look great!

  • Reply
    Rose
    April 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Oh yum! Another must do recipe!

  • Reply
    Pierce
    April 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    They look so delicate. I really like the texture and your step-by-step photos are so helpful!
    May I grab a photo for my Pinterest wall?

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    April 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    So pretty and elegant – I bet these tasted wonderful!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    April 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Tabs—they don’t actually melt in your mouth, the cookie part is really crisp like a very thin toffee, it’s an unusual texture for a cookie and really good!

  • Reply
    Tabitha
    April 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Oh I’ve never heard of these but they look as if they would melt in your mouth.

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    April 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Oh, an unsung game-changer, indeed! You totally rock for taking the time to figure these out. They look PERFECT! (no joke, my mouth is watering a bit right now…)

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    April 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    One of my all time favorite cookies! We all thank you for figuring this one out. I love those recipes that turn out great after lots of research and trials. A labor of love indeed! Thanks

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