My new Dorie’s Cookies cookbook is seriously daunting.
There are so many cookie recipes. I get it – that’s the point. After all, it is a cookbook about cookies. But if you want to make cookies – any cookie, no particular kind specifically – it can get overwhelming.
I decided to try the Chocolate Creme Sandwiches for a friend’s birthday because they seemed pretty easy to make and I thought they would appease most palates – after all, this is Dorie’s approach to the classic Oreo. She describes her sandwiches as “a little less brittle and a little less sweet than the originals, but they’re just as snackable”.
There are two components to this recipe: the cookie and the “creme” (i.e., the delicious cream filling that is arguably the best part of an Oreo).
The cookies require perfectly average ingredients: all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and an egg white. The filling is even easier: butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and salt. You can colour and flavour your filling to your heart’s desire (anyone remember neon Oreos? The best!), but I decided to keep mine original for the first bake.
Making the cookie dough, I got the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I mixed the butter, sugar, and salt without any issues, added the egg white and vanilla as directed, and then introduced the dry ingredients. The whole thing seemed really dry – like I was missing a key liquid ingredient to bind the whole thing together. But after reading Dorie’s thorough cookbook introduction, she has convinced me that all of her directions are just so for a specific reason. I decided to have a little faith. Plus, this line helped me accept that this wasn’t going to look like a traditional cookie dough right away:
“… until you have a dough that holds together and forms clumps when pinched – it shouldn’t come together in a ball.”
I dumped the crumbly contents onto the counter and kneaded the mass, and wouldn’t you know – it came together beautifully! Sorry I ever doubted you, Dorie.
I split the hunk of dough into two and rolled each out between sheets of parchment paper – it felt somewhat wasteful, but it made it wonderfully easy and non-sticky. (I used the parchment dough for the actual baking of the cookies, too.)
The flatted dough rectangles rest in the freezer, then it’s time to stamp out the circles. I have a decent collection of cookie cutters, but oddly enough, I don’t have plain circles, so I used a little heart cookie cutter instead.
The recipe says it makes 22 sandwiches, so 44 cookies total, but I was able to get way more out of my dough. (I re-rolled the scraps into fresh dough while the first two trays were baking).
These cookies are chocolatey, so it’s hard to tell when they’re done. I trusted the cookbook’s guide of 12 to 14 minutes and kept mine in for about 13. The cookies maintained their shape nicely, though a few of them had little bumps of air.
After they cooled, they had a satisfyingly crisp texture and tasted almost like a chocolate shortbread.
In the meantime, I got to work on the cream filling. It came together easily, but it didn’t look like an awful lot of cream. I prefer my Oreos on the double-stuff side of things, so I wasn’t sure how this would fare.
I doled out my cream conservatively among my cookie pairs. In hindsight, I may have been better off only making 22 sandwiches as instructed – this would have meant more stuffing per cookie (but it would also have meant many naked cookies). Since my cookies were heart-shaped, not round, it was a little tricky trying to spread the cream inside the cookie.
It’s hard to describe the finished product. It tasted a lot like an Oreo, but also somehow different – a little more flavourful, maybe? The stuffing tastes more like vanilla icing than Oreo creme, but it works wonderfully with the cookies. They’re sturdy, too – mine survived a little jostling in my backpack before I shared it with the birthday party-goers.
So far, Dorie is 2 for 2. Maybe as I bake a few more cookies, I’ll stop being so overwhelmed at the massive quantity of delicious recipes to choose from.