This recipe was featured in an email from the www.kingarthurflour.com website. "Who doesn't love these dark-as-sin sandwich cookies? Who hasn't ALWAYS loved them? They're a childhood favorite, but let's face it; many of us still rank them #1 in our personal Cookie Hall of Fame. This updated classic includes trans-fat-free shortening in the filling, and organic white whole wheat flour in the cookie. Use our regular King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or our unbleached organic flour) if you must; but trust me, you'll never know you're eating whole wheat when you bake with our King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour. I say this with pride: it's the best flour on the planet! P.S. Spring for the black cocoa, too; it makes these cookies black as a moonless night, just like the supermarket originals."
For the Cookies
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (but good) (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
- 3⁄4 cup dark cocoa (or Dutch-process cocoa)
For the Filling
- 6 candy canes, standard size (or 3 ounces peppermint hard candies)
- 2 1⁄2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if you're making the peppermint version)
- 2 teaspoons cold water (If you're adding the peppermint candy, increase the water to 2 tablespoons)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, or more if you have them.
- To make the cookies: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and espresso powder. That's right; there's no leavening in this recipe, so don't worry that something's been left out.
- Beat in the egg, water, and vanilla, then the flour and cocoa. The dough will be very stiff.
- Roll the dough into balls about the size of a chestnut (about 2 level teaspoons). A teaspoon cookie scoop works fabulously here, as well as for the filling. If you don't have one, consider a purchase; you won't regret it. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" to 2" between them.
- Use the flat bottom of a glass, dipped in cocoa as necessary to prevent sticking, to flatten the cookies to about 1/8" to 3/16" thick. The end of a food processor's pusher tool works well here, too. Take a ruler and measure the cookies' thickness; you want to get pretty close to this measurement, for the best-textured cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. It's important to bake them just the right amount of time; too little, and they won't be crisp; too much, and they'll scorch. Watch them closely at the end of the baking time, and if you start to smell scorching chocolate before the time is up, take them out. When they're done, remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool completely, on a rack or on the pan.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the filling. If you're making the peppermint version, break the candy canes into pieces, and process them with the confectioners' sugar in a food processor till they're pretty finely ground.
- Beat together the sugar, shortening, and vanilla. It'll seem very dry at first, but will eventually begin to clump together.
- Add the water, beating till smooth and spreadable. The filing should be stiff, but not so stiff that you can't flatten it when you sandwich it between the cookies.
- Place one level tablespoon filling in the center of one cookie; again, a teaspoon cookie scoop, slightly heaped, is perfect for this task. Place another cookie atop the filling, and squeeze to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container.
These are way better than packaged Oreos, and they come out a little bigger, too. I made the peppermint version, and the only tricky part was getting the peppermint candies ground up fine enough. As long as the candy was in the food processor, I just used it to mix up the filling, too. Good luck on storing them. They didn't last overnight in my house. There went my plans to take them to work the next day.