from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until smooth (do not overmix).
Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean, 10 to 14 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make filling: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread bottom of half the cookies with 1 tablespoon filling each; sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently so filling oozes out slightly. Sprinkle exposed filling with nonpareils. Let rest 15 minutes to set. (To store cookies, keep in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.)
NOTE: I spooned the batter onto the cookie sheets, but next time I'm going to use a big piping tip in order to make them all a consistent size. I think this will also allow me to make smaller pies, which makes them more bite-size and perfect for parties. I think I might also try a Swiss Meringue Buttercream next time.