I have seen these Thomas Keller Oreos popping up on various blogs for some time now and have been meaning to give them a try myself as so many bloggers were raving about them. Since I love traditional Oreos, I figured I couldn't go wrong with Thomas Keller's gourmet version.
I would describe these as the sophisticated older sister of the traditional Oreo. Two deep, dark chocolate cookies are sandwiched between a thick layer of white chocolate ganache. The cookies themselves have a crumbly, sandy texture and a hefty dose of salt for a contrast to the sweetness of the ganache filling. Using a fluted cookie cutter gave these cookies just the right about of cuteness and charm.
While I shamelessly love the shortening based filling of the traditional Oreo, the white chocolate ganache filling for the TKOs was divine! These were just a wee bit too salty for my personal preference and I think in the future I'd reduce the salt in the cookies down to 1 teaspoon. If you're a big fan of the contrast a hefty dose of salt can provide, I'd recommend making the cookies as written.
Thomas Keller Oreos
adapted from Piece of Cake
makes about 24 sandwich cookies, depending on the size
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3/4" cubes, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped (I used chips instead of bar chocolate, it worked fine)
For the filling: In a small pan or microwave-safe bowl, bring the cream to a boil on the stove or in the microwave. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then whisk to melt the chocolate until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let stand for 6 hours to thicken up (you can also chill it in the refrigerator, stirring often, to speed things up significantly).
For the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed. With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time. The mixture will be dry and sandy at first, but over 2 minutes, will form pebble-size pieces that start to cling together--be patient, it will eventually come together. Transfer the dough to a work surface.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half between two large pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Stack the rolled sheets of dough onto a baking sheet (to keep them flat) and chill until firm, at least 15 minutes.
When you're ready to bake, position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Working with one sheet of chilled dough at a time, use a round 2 to 2 1/2-inch cutter* to cut the dough into rounds (scraps can be gathered and rolled out again). Place the rounds about 1/2 an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
To assemble the cookies: Lightly whip the white chocolate cream to smooth it and fluff it up. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4" plain tip (I just snipped the tip off the pastry bag). Pipe about 1 1/2 tsp in the center of half the cookies. Top with another cookie to sandwich. Gently press down until the cream comes to the edges. Refrigerate to for a few minutes to firm up the filling.
Cookies can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days (I recommend refrigerating to keep the filling from getting too soft).
*I used a 1 3/4-inch round fluted cookie cutter and got about 30 sandwich cookies from the recipe.