Chocolate Cream-filled Sandwich Cookies

gluten-free chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies

Unlike the Thin Mints, I’m quite sure no one would be fooled into thinking that these are the real deal. For one thing, I’m surely not hiding an Oreo stamp in my cupboard. (I was “lucky” enough to find a roll of Smarties hidden above the doorframe earlier today, but no Nabisco contraband. Shucks.) They also need to be refrigerated (at least this time of year) — the combination of non-hydrogenated shortening and butter means a less stable filling at room temperature. Other than the need for temperature control, I’d say the cream filling is a dead ringer.

For the chocolate wafer cookies, I merely swapped the Thin Mint’s peppermint oil with an extra splash of vanilla extract and called it a day. I love having one master recipe that can be tweaked, don’t you? They aren’t quite identical to the packaged variety — certainly more buttery — but serve as a cream filling distribution system just fine. (Based on the availability of double- and triple-stuffed versions that’s the important part, no?)

I still want to play around with other Oreo recipes, but feel this one is worthwhile to share in the meantime, until I happen upon THE ONE. It’s certainly one of the simplest given that both the dough and filling are made by hand — no mixers or food processors needed. But for the easiest version of all — no baking required! — simply pick up a package of Glutino’s tasty Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies!

Chocolate Cream-filled Sandwich Cookies

(adapted from Thin Mints)
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Inactive Preparation Time: 2 hours, plus about 2 for chocolate to set
Baking Time: 10 – 12 minutes
Makes: 2 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies

The filling recipe listed results in what I consider double-stuffed cookies — feel free to adjust the amount if desired.

Ingredients

Dough:

Cream Filling:

  • 48 grams (1/4 cup) Spectrum Organic shortening (or other non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening)
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar

Instructions

Make and chill dough:

Combine melted and cooled butter and vanilla extract in whatever vessel you used to melt the butter (saucepan, measuring cup); set aside.

Sift millet flour through black cocoa powder into a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Whisk in Kosher salt. Pour melted butter mixture into dry ingredients and stir by hand until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.

Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, pat into about a 3/4″ thick disk, wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (dough won’t be rock hard, just firmed slightly).

Roll dough and cutout cookies:

Line a small, rimmed sheet pan or freezer-safe platter with a silicone baking mat or a piece of plastic wrap (make sure it’s smooth, no wrinkles); set aside.

Sprinkle rolling surface with millet flour, turn chilled dough out and knead it a few times to warm dough slightly. Use more flour on the rolling surface and sprinkled on top of the dough as needed. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll out until 1/8″ thick (see notes in the next paragraph for rolling tips).

There’s no need to do the whole, one roll, turn dough 45°, roll, turn, roll, turn, on and on as with pie dough. It’s really better if you don’t try to do that past the first couple rolls — the dough is a bit too delicate and crumbly and just tends to tear. Let it stick to the rolling surface, just be aware of it sticking to the rolling pin and sprinkle more flour on top as needed. And if it’s giving you too much trouble, just scrape it up, knead again until it’s a ball and try again — probably with a little more flour on the counter and top of the dough this time. You cannot ruin this dough.

Use a small, round cookie cutter (about 1 1/2″) to cut out cookies. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan using a small or large offset spatula (you really need a very thin tool to get under the cookies). No need to leave any space in between cookies — we’re not baking them yet.

Repeat rolling/cutting/arranging with other half of dough, knead together scraps and re-roll/cut until it’s all shaped. If you run out of space on your baking sheet, line another (or a plate) with plastic wrap — do not stack cookies! Transfer baking sheet(s) to the freezer and chill for 1 hour.

Bake and cool cookies:

While cookies chill, arrange oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

Once cookies have chilled for an hour, arrange about half on one of the prepared sheet pans — they hardly spread, so about 1/2″ of space between each is enough. Return other half of cookies to the freezer. Bake until edges are firm but middle is still a little soft, about 10 – 12 minutes (I baked mine for 12). Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Repeat with the second prepared cookie sheet and other half of the cookies from the freezer. (Please note: it’s really important that you don’t use the cookie sheet that just came out of the oven, it will cause the cookies to warm, spread and generally not come out as well. If you only have one sheet pan or baking mat that’s ok — just let it cool to room temperature before using it.)

Make cream and fill cookies:

In a small bowl, mix together shortening, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Fit a pastry bag with coupler and medium round tip (Wilton #12). Fill bag with cream.

Pipe up to 1 1/2 teaspoons filling in the center of half of the cookies. (Alternately, you may simply dollop and spread filling with a knife or spatula.) Top with other half of cookies, gently press down/twist to spread filling to the edge. Transfer cookies to the refrigerator to set for about 30 minutes before serving. Once set, cover cookies and keep stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

¹ I use Droste cocoa powder. It can be a bit difficult to track down, but is available on Amazon or at upscale grocers (Drager’s Markets in the Bay Area and occasionally Whole Foods). The most important thing is that you use a Dutch-process (alkalized) cocoa powder for this recipe, not a natural cocoa powder such as this one by Hershey’s. I haven’t tried the Dutched cocoa powder sold through Savory Spice Shop, but it may be worth a go if you’re already at the store or need to order the black cocoa though them.