Again playing with the American cookie idiom, Sebastien, well aware of my love for Oreos, devised this cookie in my honor. It uses a special cocoa powder, Guittard Cocoa Noir, which results in a very, very dark dough. The white chocolate filling is piped onto each bottom cookie in teardrop shapes, rather than simply spread, and these become an elegant pearled border when the cookie is topped with a second one. The chocolate wafers are excellent cookies even without the filling, by the way. They can be cut into seasonal shapes, like bats for Halloween, or they can be pulverized and used to make a chocolate cookie crust, just as you’d use graham crackers.
- Yield: 8 Sandwich Cookies
- 4.4 ounces (125 grams) 35% white chocolate, chopped
- ½ ounce (15 grams) Unsalted butter
- ½ cup + 1 teaspoon (125 grams) Heavy cream
- 1¾ cups + 1¾ tablespoons (259 grams) All-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 1½ tablespoons (87 grams) Unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
- 0.37 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 Vs-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 re-roll 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 ¾ inch between them.
- 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 Vs 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.