Pepperidge Farm Brussels are a type of cookie made by Pepperidge Farm, which is a commercial bakery owned by Campbell Soup Company. Brussels cookies were first introduced by Pepperidge Farm in the 1960s and have been popular ever since. They are a shortbread cookie made with butter and flour that gets their name and distinctive shape from Brussels, Belgium, where this style of cookie originated.
Brussels cookies have a delicate, flaky texture that melts in your mouth. They are crispy on the outside and rich but not overly sweet inside. Each cookie has a unique shape and swirled design imprinted on the top. Common shapes include rounded puffs, flat disks, loops, and other interesting geometric variations. The shapes are made by pressing the cookie dough into custom molds before baking.
In addition to the original Brussels cookie, Pepperidge Farm now makes these cookies in several flavors including chocolate, cinnamon, lemon, and pumpkin spice. They are widely available across grocery stores in the cookie aisle or with other Pepperidge Farm baked goods. Read on to learn more about the history, ingredients, flavors, and uses of these iconic cookies.
History of Pepperidge Farm Brussels Cookies
Pepperidge Farm was founded in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, who began baking breads and cookies from her Connecticut home to sell. She named the company after the Pepperidge Farm she owned in Fairfield, Connecticut. Rudkin was committed to using wholesome, high quality ingredients in her baked goods.
In 1961, the company introduced Brussels cookies to the American market. They were inspired by similar European-style delicate cookies. The cookies were a hit and quickly became one of Pepperidge Farm’s signature items.
The company expanded over the years and was eventually acquired by Campbell Soup Company in 1961. Under Campbell’s ownership, Pepperidge Farm continued expanding their distribution across the U.S. and introducing new cookie flavors and varieties while maintaining Rudkin’s standards for quality ingredients.
Today, Pepperidge Farm operates bakeries in multiple states and distributes products through grocery stores nationwide. Many of their original cookies like Brussels, Milano, and Chessmen remain customer favorites decades after being introduced. The Brussels cookie continues offering melt-in-your-mouth texture and flaky, sugary layers of flavor in each distinctly shaped piece.
Ingredients in Brussels Cookies
Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies have a simple, classic ingredient list that contributes to their delicate texture and taste. The main ingredients are:
Flour – Wheat flour provides the base structure and sturdiness of the cookies. A touch of rye flour is also used in some varieties to add complexity to the flavor.
Butter – Butter is the main source of fat and flavor in Brussels cookies. European style butter with a high butterfat content is preferred.
Sugar – Granulated white sugar sweetens the cookies. Brown sugar is also used in some varieties to add caramelized, malty sweetness.
Vanilla – Vanilla extract infuses the cookies with warm, aromatic vanilla undertones.
Salt – A pinch of salt balances and enhances the sweetness and flavors.
Cocoa powder – Used in chocolate Brussels cookies to provide chocolate taste.
Eggs – Eggs contribute to the soft, rich texture and moisture.
Spices and extracts – Cinnamon, lemon extract, etc. for flavored cookies.
No artificial flavors or colors are used. The simplicity of fine ingredients lets the buttery, sweet flavor shine through.
Flavors of Brussels Cookies
In addition to the traditional plain Brussels cookie, Pepperidge Farm has created several delicious flavor varieties over the years:
Milk Chocolate – The classic cookie with creamy milk chocolate layered throughout.
Dark Chocolate – For chocolate lovers, swirled with bittersweet chocolate.
Cinnamon – Warm cinnamon spice flavors the cookie.
Lemon – Bright citrus lemon extract adds refreshing zing.
Pumpkin Spice – Fall flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Salted Caramel – Buttery caramel and sprinkling of sea salt.
Almond – Toasted almond slices lend nutty crunch.
Raspberry – Tart raspberry jam dotted throughout.
Toffee Crunch – Toffee bits add a brittle crunch.
The chocolate, lemon, and pumpkin flavors are available year-round. Other specialty flavors rotate availability throughout the year, typically for limited seasonal runs.
Nutrition Facts for Brussels Cookies
Although delicious, Brussels cookies are high-calorie, indulgent treats that should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here are the nutrition facts for a serving of 2 regular Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies (30g):
As you can see, the cookies are low in protein and fiber but high in saturated fat and sugars. The calorie count quickly adds up if you eat more than a serving or two.
Storing and Preserving Brussels Cookies
Brussels cookies stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks at room temperature when stored in an airtight container. For extended shelf life, they can be refrigerated for 2-3 months or frozen for up to 6 months. The cookies retain their quality well when properly stored frozen.
To freeze Brussels cookies:
– Let cookies cool completely after baking.
– Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight freezer container. This prevents them from sticking together.
– Seal container and freeze.
– Take out desired number of cookies as needed and allow to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Refrigerating extends the shelf life for a few weeks but can cause the cookies to lose their crispness faster. Freezing is best for maintaining fresh texture and taste for months.
How to Make Brussels Cookie Recipe from Scratch
While Pepperidge Farm’s Brussels cookies are convenient to pick up at the grocery store, many bakers enjoy making homemade versions using their own recipe. Here is an easy recipe to bake from scratch at home:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup butter, softened
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture forms pea-sized crumbs.
3. Add vanilla and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.
4. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using a floured cookie cutter.
5. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly golden at edges.
6. Let cool on pan 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
You can cut the cookies into any fun shape. Traditional shapes like circles, diamonds, and spirals mimic Pepperidge Farm’s style. Bake in batches until all dough is used. Enjoy the homemade cookies within a few days or freeze for longer storage.
Substitutions and Variations
The basic Brussels cookie dough takes well to adaptations:
– Butter – can sub an equal amount of coconut oil or shortening
– Extracts – mix up flavors like almond, lemon, orange, mint
– Spices – add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom
– Cocoa powder – add 2 Tbsp for chocolate version
– Nuts – fold in chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.
– Dried fruit – try chopped dates, apricots, cranberries
– Citrus zest – grated lemon, orange, or lime zest
– Sprinkles – decorate with colored sugar, sanding sugar, nonpareils
Let your creativity run wild to invent new Brussels cookie flavors and combinations!
How to Use Brussels Cookies
Beyond eating Brussels cookies straight from the package, there are lots of fun and creative ways to use them:
– Crumble over ice cream, yogurt or custard for texture
– Use as a crust for mini cheesecakes or fruit tarts
– Layer crushed cookies and whipped cream for a parfait
– Make into cookie sandwiches with buttercream or jam
– Blend into cookie crust for pies and bars
– Use as a topping for casseroles or baked oatmeal
– Dip into chocolate, caramel, or ganache sauce
– Garnish cupcakes and cakes before frosting
– Flavor milkshakes, cocoa, coffee drinks
– Make holiday shapes for edible decorations
– Gift in care packages, gift baskets, holiday tins
With their elegant shape and design, Brussels cookies can embellish all kinds of desserts. Keep a stash on hand for creative baking and snacking ideas.
Where to Buy Brussels Cookies
Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies are available year-round at most major grocery chains across the United States and Canada. Popular stores that carry them include:
– Stop & Shop
– Giant Eagle
– Harris Teeter
– Whole Foods Market
– Trader Joe’s
The cookies are typically stocked in the bakery or cookie aisle. Look for the distinctive blue tins and bags with the Pepperidge Farm brand and Brussels cookie labeling.
In addition to in-person grocery and big box stores, Brussels cookies can be ordered online for home delivery from sites like Amazon, Instacart, Walmart Grocery, and Pepperidge Farm’s online store.
International and specialty food stores may also carry imported European butter cookies that are similar in style and taste to Brussels cookies.
Brussels Cookies: An Iconic Treat
Pepperidge Farm’s Brussels cookies have built a reputation for quality and delicious taste for over 50 years. Their popularity endures because of their flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich sweetness. These elegantly shaped shortbread cookies evoke the European biscuit traditions that inspired them.
While the original version remains a favorite, fun modern flavors have also emerged. Chocolate, pumpkin, lemon, and more seasonal varieties join the iconic plain Brussels cookie on grocery store shelves. Bakers can even whip up homemade Brussels cookies using simple pantry ingredients. However you enjoy them, Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies are a classic American treat that brings a touch of European flair.