Who doesn’t love a dark, cocoa-y sandwich cookie with that salty-sweet white filling? After all, the Oreo has been around for over 100 years and is still famed as the best selling cookie in the US. Who am I to argue?
I’ve been making a simple, not-too-sweet dark cocoa icebox cookie for years. I love them naked, as-is. I love them dressed up and drizzled with some dark chocolate. A little fancy flaky sea salt doesn’t hurt either. Last summer during a rare break in my farmer’s market baking day I took liberties with my loyal cookie friend, squishing the sugary filling between two wafers. And so, the adorably naughty BeeWee was born!
The cocoa cookie dough is adaptable in a number of ways, but first and foremost, it freezes perfectly. Make a batch and freeze it in logs for slicing and eating plain (the “Bee”), or freeze in a brick to later thaw, roll, and cut into circles for ready for filling (the “Wee”).
- 3/4 # butter
- 6 1/2 oz sugar
- 1.5 t vanilla
- 1 # flour
- 5 T cocoa
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t (scant) baking powder
* for GF, substitute your favorite GF all purpose flour blend and 1/2 t xanthan gum for the wheat flour. I use a combo of 2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, and 1/3 part tapioca starch)
Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add dry all at once and mix until combined.
Invert cookie dough onto a work surface and continue mixing if necessary, to incorporate all dry. When dough is smooth and uniform, shape into a disk, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for an hour. (dough freezes well)
With a rolling pin, roll half of the dough to a thickness of just over 1/8″. Use a 2″ diameter round cutter to cut cookies. Bake at 350F for about 12-15 minutes, or until set. Cool.
Sandwich Cookie Filling and finishing
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cold water, or just enough to make the filling come together
- 2 oz dark chocolate, 60%-70%, chopped
- flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
Sift sugar into a bowl. Add shortening, salt, vanilla and combine. Add 1t of the water. Continue adding remaining water, but only until the cookie filling comes together. Filling should be cohesive, able to adhere to the cookies, but it should not be sticky or wet. Roll into logs about 1″ in diameter, and slice log into rounds 1/4″ thick.
Pinch off filling–about 1 1/2 t per cookie–and roll into balls in your hands. Flatten and then carefully press onto half of the baked cookies, pressing to the edges. Place the plain cookie on top and set the filled cookies on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Leave some space in between.
Heat water in a small pan onto which a smallish metal bowl with sit nicely. Bring water to a boil then lower temperature to a nice simmer. Add 2/3 of the chocolate to the bowl and melt gently. Add half of the reserved chocolate, remove from heat, and add the remaining chocolate. Allow to melt completely, with no little bits that can get caught in your pastry bag.
Working quickly but carefully, fill a parchment cone with the melted chocolate, fold closed and snip the tip. Drizzle filled cookies with chocolate, and follow up right away with a sprinkle of the crunchy, flaky sea salt, before the chocolate has a chance to set.
Let cookies set several hours or overnight. Pour yourself a big glass of milk (I like mine steamed with a li’l glug o’ cheer) and taste-test to make sure your work is done.