Tuesday, January 25, 2011

They could be called Total Knock Outs

These cookies are known as TKO's:

That stands for "Thomas Keller Oreo", as made in Bouchon Bakeries in NYC, Napa and Vegas. I think I've been to all three locations (NYC and Napa for sure, Vegas is a blur) but I've never tried their oreos since I'm crazy about their bouchons, which are these cork-shaped dark and rich chocolate brownies. I've been known to walk the 10+ blocks in NYC from my old company's office to Columbia Circle, buy the bouchons and hand carry them on the plane to share with the husband at home (ok, so maybe the fruit/produce from California wasn't that strange in retrospect). But somehow, I'd never noticed their oreos.

This in itself is odd, because I am a big homemade oreo fan. I don't like the commercial brand because I find them too sweet. I don't go out of my either way to find the bakery version since I'm not that obsessed with them. However, one day in the last week or so, I was reviewing my starred blog reader entries and noticed a lovely post from local blogger Tiny Urban Kitchen featuring the Bouchon Bakery recipe, helpfully converted from weight measurements to volume. The white chocolate filling as opposed to the more traditional buttercream got my attention, so I got it into my head to give these cookies a try.

It did require a trip to Williams Sonoma to pick up a pastry bag since I don't have one (nor the decorating tips) and a set of cookie cutters (since I don't have any anymore). I also popped in to Whole Foods to pick up white chocolate (Green and Black's organic bars) and dutch cocoa powder (Lake Champlain Chocolates). Oh and a pound of butter, since we were out.

It was amusing to read the original recipe from Bouchon Bakery posted on The Kitchn site (link below), as half of the comments raved how amazing these cookies are while the other half complained it was a disaster. I'm guessing the complainers didn't realize the difference between weight and volume, which obviously can have a huge impact. In comparing the Bouchon Bakery recipe to Tiny Urban Kitchen's version, it was interesting to note that her adaptation called for 1 1/2 tsp of salt vs the "pinch" in the bakery recipe. We all know I'm a salt fiend so I went for the 1 1/2 tsp. I also generally reduce the amount of sugar that recipes call for, but in this case I didn't and I'm glad I didn't mess with it.

The verdict: These are addictive cookies. They're chocolately, they're salty, they're not too sweet, and they're definitely, wonderfully buttery. They're better than the store-bought version, and I like them better than the ones sold by Hi-Rise Bakery or Flour. The husband has declared these to be his new favourite cookie, more so than the white chocolate cranberry ginger cookies that I make all the time. Luckily for him, they made 42 sandwich cookies and I'm not sure if I was skimpy with the filling, or I just couldn't operate the pastry bag (both are reasonable possibilities), but I only used half the filling mixutre and have the remainder sitting in the fridge, ready to be used with another batch of cookies. It's a bit labour-intensive (I'm not the fastest rolling out the dough and cutting cookies, nor am I that adept with the pastry bag) so I'm saving the next batch for a weekend project or another snowstorm. The husband did go out and buy another pound of butter so I'm ready to go the next time I have a few hours to kill.

TKO's, or Homemade Oreos
from Tiny Urban Kitchen and Bouchon Bakery via The Kitchn

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
15 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using a paddle on medium speed. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the butter and sugar mixture until combined. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 of an inch. Cut out cookies into desired shapes. Refrigerate the cut cookies for 20 minutes. Bake at 325°F for 12 minutes and let cool on a rack.

For the White Chocolate Ganache Filling:
7 ounces (14 tbsp) heavy cream
7 ounces white chocolate
1 ounces (2 tbsp) butter

Chop the white chocolate and place in a bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour over the chopped white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. Allow the cream mixture to cool. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip until light and the mixture holds its shape. Refrigerate until needed.


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