Is there any cookie more American than the Oreo? Something about that sweet filling and slightly salty chocolate cookie just appeals to many of us here in the US. Now, it turns out, that’s not exactly the same worldwide. For example, while China loves them, they have a less sweet version, wafer version, and when the Oreo was launched in the UK in 2008, it caused a bit of a controversy:
“It’s a very sickly-sweet, dark biscuit and I was expecting more from it”. And it takes itself too seriously, he says of the ad slogan.
“It’s like someone rudely coming into your home and telling you how to arrange your settee. It arrives here and says: ‘I’m Oreo and this is what you do with me.’
“Well we’ve had biscuits for a long time and we know what to do.”
So what’s with all this Oreo talk, you ask? Well, I wanted to make my own chocolate cookie with “creme” filling, but I didn’t want to make a sandwich cookie. Nope, I wanted it to look like an everyday chocolate cookie on the outside and be filled with a creme of sorts on the inside. After much experimentation (I honestly made one cookie at a time, testing techniques, even sitting and watching the cookie bake), I came up with this:
This was the 5th attempt at getting it right. The first couple exploded while the next couple just didn’t work out well at all. The taste is quite similar to the Oreo… the chocolate is a bit salty, the center is a very sweet vanilla creme, everything you’d think it was. The texture is softer than an Oreo, though it’s not chewy and the center matches very well. While there isn’t the “fun” of pulling it apart and eating the bits separately, you also don’t get the issue of the cookie shattering around the filling.
One big change between these and the classic Oreo is the ingredient list. Now, currently Oreo doesn’t have any partially-hydrogenated oils (remember that whole fiasco?), but it still could be better. Here are the ingredients:
Sugar, Wheat Flour, High Oleic Canola Oil (and/or Palm Oil and/or Canola Oil and/or Soybean Oil), Cocoa (processed w/ Alkali), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cornstarch, Baking Soda (and/or Calcium Phosphate), Salt, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin, Chocolate
Here is what is in mine:
Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Butter, Sugar, Cocoa (raw), Egg, Palm Oil, Corn Flour, Baking Soda, Milk, Salt, Vanilla
You see, doesn’t that seem a lot better? At the very least, it’s things you can go pick up in your local supermarket. So, are you ready to cook? Let me warn you, these are a bit complicated, but totally worth it (try ’em warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top…). First up, the “creme” filling:
- 2 c Powdered Sugar (sifted, not packed)
- 1/2 c White Flour (sifted, not packed)
- 1 Tbs Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 c Palm Oil Shortening
- 1/4 c Butter (room temp)
- Mix butter, shortening, milk and vanilla together until well combined.
- Mix flour and powdered sugar together.
- Add sugar mixture to shortening mixture in 4 batches, mixing with a spoon (or by hand) until it reaches a thick, smooth consistency.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to solidify slightly.
Alright, then… now the filling is all done. Should look something like this:
This actually will make a little more filling than is needed for the cookies, but it’s better than too less (plus, we all know you’ll be eating it while you cook). Next up, the cookie dough!
- 8 oz Unsalted Butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 11 oz Bread Flour
- 1 oz Corn Flour
- 3 oz Cocoa Powder (not Dutch process)
- 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2.5 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 oz White Sugar
- 8 oz Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 3 Tbs Whole Milk
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Whisk together the flours, salt, baking soda, and cocoa in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Put the butter in the large bowl, then add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the mixture for two minutes on medium speed (it won’t really cream as much as it’ll resemble an oil slick, but that’s okay).
- Add the egg mixture to the sugars and butter and mix on low until well combined (about a minute).
- Slowly incorporate the flour/cocoa mixture, one third at a time, until thoroughly combined. The dough should be very thick, but not crumbly. Add milk/flour to adjust the texture if needed (use your best judgment here).
- Chill for at least two hours.
If you’re wondering just how thick the batter should be, it should be something like this:
Make sure you have some time available before starting the next part, as you have to assemble, then bake these cookies… it can be time intensive depending on how many you make.
- Place oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375°F before baking.
- Scoop out 1 oz of dough and roll into a ball. Split the balls into two even halves and flatten into rounds.
- Place .4 oz of the filling into the center of one of the halves, then take the other side and gently pinch together the seams (like a ravioli) so that the filling doesn’t come out (check out the last time I did this here).
- Once the filling is sealed in, gently pat into a smooth round oval. The cookie won’t rise that much, so the size and shape you make it here will be very close to how it looks in the end.
- Place the cookies on a plate and back in the fridge for about 10 minutes, just to harden back up.
- Take out the cookies and poke some holes on the top to vent the steam from the filling (this is important, cookie will explode a bit if you skip this step).
- Place the cookie onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing just 6 – 8 cookies per sheet
- Bake for 10 minutes or so, rotating the pan halfway. Make sure that the filling hasn’t erupted out of the cookie (alternatively, just sit and watch ’em bake).
- Cool 2 – 3 minutes on the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Eat and enjoy. Refrigerate cookies for storage as the filling has butter in it and isn’t a fan of long-term room temperatures.
Here’s a shot of the assembly, also a bonus shot of me watching the cookies bake with my cat, Mishka, who refused to leave me alone for some reason.
All in all, this cookie was a pain in the butt to make, but in the end it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Jess simply can’t stop eating them, in fact, her go to dessert has turned into one of these cookies, warmed up, topped with vanilla ice cream. If any of you out there try this, please let me know your results!