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One measure of recipe success for me is how hard I have to fight to keep enough of the finished product around to photograph. If I have to battle to even get pictures of something before it’s all gone, I know it’s a tasty recipe. These homemade Oreo cookies were being stolen right off the ‘set!’ I cut mine into hearts because Valentine’s Day is in a couple of weeks, but you can cut them into any shape, including simple rounds. They’re easy to make, but the cream filling does take a few hours to set up so you need to plan at least a little in advance.
My favorite part about the white chocolate cream filling for this recipe is that it doesn’t have any vegetable shortening, but it is stiff enough not to ooze out of the cookies. I try to avoid making icing or filling with vegetable shortening when I can because I can always taste it. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I always think that slightly odd flavor and slick texture are lurking right behind whatever flavors I do want. This simple filling only needs white chocolate, cream, and a dash of vanilla extract, so it’s delicious and easy to make!
I included a tablespoon of actual espresso in the cookie dough to enrich the chocolate flavor. We make espresso every morning because Papi Chulo is Cuban and that’s the only coffee he drinks, but you could use a tablespoon of regular coffee or just leave it out, entirely.
Like I said above, you can make these cookies in any shape you’d like. You can even roll the dough into logs instead of flattening it with a rolling pin and simply cut it into slices for super easy, no cookie cutter required cookies. When you go to add the filling between cookies, it actually works best if you heap a mound in the middle of a cookie instead of spreading it out like I did in the photo below. This allows you to have more filling and it spreads out easily when you press the top cookie in place.
Of course, if a few of the cookies never make it to the filling part, I won’t blame you! Go ahead and try one early.
No matter how many cookies make it to the sandwich stage, these cookies are sure to be a hit.
- ½ a cup of cream
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips or chopped/grated white chocolate
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup cocoa powder - I recommend Hershey's Special Dark
- ½ a cup of sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon of table salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon of espresso (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1⅛ cups of all-purpose flour
- Bring the cream to a boil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and then immediately remove it from the heat.
- Whisk in the white chocolate and continue stirring until it is fully melted.
- Allow the filling to sit at room temperature until fully cooled and partially solidified - this will probably take 6-8 hours, depending on the temperature of your home.
- Once the filling is cooled and stiffened, beat it with a hand mixer or with the whisk attachment of a standing mixer on high until it is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once it's fully melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until fully combined. Set it aside until the mixture has cooled down, about 15-20 minutes.
- In a standing mixer using the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), combine the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter, sugar, salt, and cooled cocoa mixture and mix until fully combined and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Beat in the egg yolk, espresso, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Add ½ a cup of the flour and mix until fully combined, then add the second ½ a cup and mix. Add in up to an additional ⅛ cup, if needed, and mix until the dough forms a cohesive ball. If you don't add the coffee, you probably won't need the last ⅛ cup of flour.
- Divide the dough into two portions, flatten them each into a disk shape about 5" across, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge until the dough is chilled but still workable. This should take about 45 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the dough is chilled, place each disk between two sheets of parchment paper to roll it out without having it stick to your rolling pin. Try to roll the dough until it is ¼" - 3/16" thick - thicker than that and you'll have massive sandwich cookies!
- Remove one sheet of parchment paper to cut your shapes and use a spatula to transfer the cut outs to your baking sheet.
- Continue rolling and cutting your dough, re-rolling scraps and placing the dough in the fridge to re-chill as necessary, until you're satisfied that you've used your dough as effectively as possible. With my heart cooke cutter I got about 2 dozen cookies.
- Bake your cookies for 10-12 minutes. They shouldn't look dry on the edges yet, but they should also not look wet in the center.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack.
- Coninute baking until you've baked all your cookies!
- Once the cookies have cooled completely and your filling is ready, pair the cookies up and place a hearty dollop of filling in the center of the 'bottom' of one cookie in each pair. Carefully press the two cookies together, bottom sides facing each other, to spread out the filling.
With my cookie cutter, this recipe made about a dozen sandwich cookies. They keep fairly well for at least a few days – I don’t think any of them made it past the fourth day without being eaten, though! You can also wrap the cooled cookies in aluminum foil and place them in an air tight container to freeze them for later. Just make sure to freeze them in the ‘cookie’ stage, rather than the ‘sandwich cookie’ stage!
I think these would make super sweet edible Valentine’s, but you can just cut them out in rounds for a delicious treat any time of year. Of course, you could also flavor or color the cream filling for added holiday flair! I recommend using gel extracts like AmeriColor for high-quality results. If you’re looking for a nice set of heart cookie cutters, I highly recommend these from Fox Run. You can’t tell from the Amazon photo, but they come in a cute case and they’ve held up to a lot of abuse!
What’s your favorite type of sandwich cookie? Do you like flavoring or coloring your icing for specific holidays?