Black cocoa cutout cookies! I’ve got tons of filling options for these but if you want that classic oreo flavor, use the vanilla frosting recipe for a homemade oreo flavor.
Have you ever eaten an oreo with the expectation of all the wonderful things it could be: a crispy, deeply dark (almost smoky) flavor sandwiching a smooth, not-overly-sweet vanilla buttercream… and then felt eh, this tastes too ‘store-bought’? This is the cookie that’s going to fix that craving because it absolutely delivers.
Note: I’m between calling these homemade oreo cookies and black cocoa sandwich cookies because they are oreo-like (possibly more than most copycat oreo recipes I’ve found) but also because I want the options for filling to be limitless. I want to give you a black cocoa rollout cookie that you can fill however you like, and not limit you to the traditional vanilla ‘buttercream’ (which in the real oreo is probably more shortening than butter and there definitely isn’t enough real vanilla flavor!).
You’ll have a few options with texture in these as well. Want a traditional softer rollout cookie? Roll the cookies a little thicker and skip the second bake. Want more of a crispy cookie? Do the second bake until the cookies are dried out.
Cocoa: a few options here, depending on how dark you want the cookies and if you like the taste of black coca. If you love it, use the full amount, the cookies will be strong. In some recipes I think all black cocoa works well (like this black cocoa cake) but in these I prefer a bit more balance so I do half black cocoa and half dutch cocoa. Not a fan of black cocoa at all? Use all dutch but bear in mind they won’t quite have that ‘oreo’ flavor.
All purpose flour: I don’t think this recipe is too fussy about protein content but I wouldn’t substite here with a flour like oat or rye as they can change the texture.
Butter: Make sure the butter is nice and soft so that it can cream with the sugar nicely. If you are using salted butter, skip the added salt in the recipe.
Granulated sugar: A sugar with finer granules works well here because it’ll cream and mix with the butter nicely.
Egg whites: The reason I am only using egg whites here is to keep out the extra fat which would make these softer cookies. The aim for an oreo-like texture is to have a pretty dry, crispy cookie.
What do I do with the two leftover egg yolks?
You make egg yolk chocolate chunk cookies, but of course.
Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
Salt: fine sea salt. If you are using table salt, just add a pinch. If you are using kosher salt also reduce the salt by a bit.
Cream together butter & sugar
The butter should be at room temperature before you begin. Set the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, affix the spatula attachment and beat for about 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Make sure to scrape down the bowl so it all mixes evenly.
Add the egg whites and beat
Beat in the whites for about 1-2 minutes, until the mixture looks fluffy.
Sift in the dry ingredients
Cocoa is often lumpy so sifting it in ensures all the little granules will get distributed into the dough. Before you turn the mixer on, drape a kitchen towel over the bowl or bits of flour/cocoa will fly out and make a mess.
Chill the cookie dough
Wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for at least an hour but up to 4. Don’t leave it overnight as it can dry out and will be difficult to work with.
Roll and cut out the dough
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thickness. If the dough breaks or cracks simply press it back together.
Use a round, 3 inch cookie cutter to punch out cookies and set them on the baking sheet. These don’t spread but leave a bit of space for them to bake without sticking.
You won’t be able to tell by color if the cookies are done baking because of the dark cocoa powder but they will have a matte finish and be set on the sides. Remove them from the oven. You can stop here or…
Lower the oven temperature and once it’s at 225 F set the cookies for a longer second bake.
The first bake for the cookies is a 10 minute bake at 350 F. You can stop here if you like, the cookies will have a bit of crisp at the edges and will be softer in the center. Sort of like a regular sugar cookie.
If you want them to be closer to an actual oreo, you’ll want to give them that second bake. This will dry out the cookies more and make them crispy all over.
Once the filling goes between the cookies the moisture will make the cookies softer, for this reason I prefer them twice baked – that way they aren’t overly soft.
How best to store these?
It’s best to serve them the day you fill them otherwise they will become quite soft (as the cookies will absorb moisture from the filling). If they haven’t been filled they’ll be fine in an airtight container for a few days.
Set a heatproof bowl over a pot filled about ⅓ of the way with water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Once the water is simmering, add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and whisk. Keep whisking until you can pinch the mixture and can’t detect any remaining sugar granules.
Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture together for about 7-10 minutes until you have stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and sea salt toward the end of whipping. Pipe or dollop onto the cookies, use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.
Beat together all the ingredients until smooth. Add milk or heavy cream if the buttercream is too thick. Spread or pipe onto half of the cookies and sandwich them.
This would give it a double chocolate oreo flavor. Use the recipe for the vanilla buttercream but add 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa and a couple of tablespoons of milk to thin out the buttercream.
You can also see this one in some of the photos here and in the video below. To make a ganache warm up 100g heavy cream and add 100g chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and stir until smooth. While warm, the ganache is quite thin. I leave mine in the fridge to chill for about 30-60 minutes, then fill it.
You add add all sorts of flavorings to the vanilla frosting recipe: lemon extract and some zest, almond extract and orange zest, some ground up freeze dried berries (sift them too and remember that the berry flavor and color deepens as it dissolves further into the butter).
Homemade mint oreo
For this you’d just want to add a half of a teaspoon of mint extract to the dough and to the chocolate buttercream.
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