Oreos. Something I didn’t grow up eating. Something I don’t particularly like. At least not the packaged version. So when I got the chance to try Thomas Keller’s version from the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook, I couldn’t wait. The kind folks at Thomas Allen provided me with a sneak peek of the cookbook (you can get your own sneak peek over on Eater.com) and, more importantly, the recipe for “TKOs” (Thomas Keller Oreos).
To be honest, I found the recipe a little convoluted for the average home cook though, in essence, these are not difficult to make – basically chocolate shortbread cookies (very rich and chocolatey) sandwiched with a white chocolate ganache.
- White Chocolate Filling:
- 4 ounces (125 grams) 35% white chocolate, chopped
- 0.5 ounce (15 grams) Unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 1 teaspoon (125 grams) Heavy cream
- Chocolate Shortbread:
- 1 ¾ cups + 1 ½ tablespoons (259 grams) All-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (87 grams) Unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
- ⅜ teaspoon (1.6 grams) Baking soda
- 8 ounces (227 grams) Unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) Kosher salt
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (161 grams) Granulated sugar
- For the filling: Melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, bring the cream to just under a simmer.
- Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day, until completely chilled.
- Meanwhile, for the shortbread: Place the flour in a medium bowl, sift in the cocoa and baking soda, and whisk to combine.
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and mix until smooth. Add the salt and mix for another 15 to 30 seconds. Add the sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined, then mix until the dough begins to come together.
- Mound the dough on the work surface and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together into a 6-inch-square block. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (standard). Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat (this will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled). Roll out to a ⅛-inch-thick sheet. If the dough has softened, slide it (in the parchment) onto the back of a sheet pan and refrigerate until firm enough to cut.
- Using the fluted cutter, cut rounds from the dough. If necessary, push the trimmings together, refrigerate until firm, and reroll for a total of 16 rounds. (Any trimmings can be baked as is, cooled, and ground in the food processor to use as cookie crumbs over ice cream.) If the dough softens, return to the refrigerator until the cookies are firm enough to transfer to a sheet pan. Arrange the rounds on the sheet pans, leaving about I inch between them. (The dough can be shaped in advance; see Note.)
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through baking, until the cookies are fragrant, with small cracks on the surface. (Because the cookies are so dark, it can be difficult to tell when they are done.) Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
- To assemble the cookies: Place the filling in the bowl of the mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until smooth. Transfer to the pastry bag.
- Turn half of the cookies over. Pipe ½ inch-long teardrops in a ring on each one, beginning ⅛ inch from the edges of the cookie, and then, working toward the center, pipe concentric rings of teardrops to cover the cookie (use 18 grams of filling per cookie). Top each with a second cookie and press gently to sandwich the cookies.
- The cookies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container, at room temperature if unfilled, or refrigerated if filled, for up to 3 days.
- Note on advance preparation: The shaped dough can be frozen on the sheet pan—wrapped in a few layers of plastic wrap—for up to 1 month. Transfer to a lined room-temperature sheet pan, and bake from frozen.
See what I mean? It’s not the simplest recipe to follow but boy do they taste good 🙂
A note re: the ganache – it does need to be whipped using either a stand mixer or electric hand beaters. I left mine in the fridge overnight but it was still fairly liquidy when I took it out to fill the cookies. I’m not used to that with a ganache – usually a night in the fridge will harden it to a Nutella-type consistency which is perfect for filling but not this one. I am guessing it’s due to the high proportion of liquid to chocolate. In any case, a few minutes with the hand beaters whipped it into a beautiful consistency for filling.
And the taste?
SO so good. The shortbread was very *short* evidenced in the fact that mine were so thickly cut out. Thinner ones just wouldn’t hold together with my dough. Also, I liked the more rustic look – Chef Keller’s are very fancy and delicate 😉 If Oreos all tasted like this, it would be very dangerous. I took these to a school bake sale and told the boys they were a very famous chef’s version of Oreos and they literally sold out in minutes. The boys loved them 🙂 And me? Yeah, I’ll make them again for a special occasion!
I am thrilled to be hearing Chef Keller speak in Toronto next week…
Interview, Q&A & Book Signing with Thomas Keller
Tuesday, October 30, 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles Street West
$70 (includes a copy of Bouchon Bakery + admission to event); $30 for admission only
Tickets available through The Cookbook Store only. Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the store (416-920-2665) to reserve your ticket.
And guess what? Thanks to Thomas Allen, I have one copy of The Bouchon Bakery Cookbook to give away to one lucky Canadian reader (sorry international friends).
To enter, simple tell me which of these recipes from the book you’d like to try by leaving a comment on this post:
Pâte à Choux dough
Paris – New York
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramel Nut Tart
For a second entry, tweet the following message:
“@ThomasAllenLTD + @eatlivtravwrite are giving away a copy of @Chef_Keller ‘s Bouchon Bakery Cookbook! Details here: http://bit.ly/QUhUwY”
then come back to leave me a comment to let me know you did!
Contest closes Thursday November 1st at 6pm EST. Winner chosen by Random.org and announced on Friday November 2nd
Edited to add: Contest closed thanks for your interest!
** Canadians – have you checked out my “What’s for Dinner?” contest? A gorgeous $350 gift basket is up for grabs!