If you are looking for one indulgent recipe to make at home and treat yourself this week, then this is it. These Chocolate ‘O’ Cookies by Ottolenghi are the ultimate chocolate cookies, with an intense dark chocolate flavour, a soft shell and a rich filling.
After spending the first two weeks of the year working from home (side note: how come my list of outstanding blog posts never seems to get shorter?) and filing my tax return, I decided I deserved a treat. It was time to get back into the kitchen and bake something.
I have a copy of “Sweet” at home, the baking and desserts cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh which was released last September. I was sent a copy to review at the time, but never at the time to bake anything from it. Until last week.
The cookbook is a collection of all the delicious cookies and cakes you can find at Ottolenghi cafés around London. It features 110 recipes for cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream. A lot of these recipes require time, skills and unusual ingredients – including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom.
Others are easy and quick to make, like these Chocolate ‘O’ Cookies.
The ‘O’ stands for Ottolenghi, of course, but also for Oreo, the inspiration behind this biscuit recipe. They are dark cocoa biscuits sandwiched together with a filling of chocolate ganache.
I used my own recipe for the ganache, using just cream, butter, dark chocolate and a shot of espresso. Ottolenghi’s recipe for ganache was way too complicated for me – it required several ingredients including glucose which I didn’t have at home.
My husband says these cookies are better off without ganache: plain and simple chocolate cookies. I almost agree with him, but then I am not sure…a rich chocolate filling can only make the cookies better, right?
Either way, you have the option here. You can even go for a vanilla cream filling, like in the original Oreos.
Note: I flattened the cookie dough to about 2mm thick and used a 68mm cookie cutter, but I think the chocolate ‘o’ cookies would have been prettier if made smaller (5-6cm) and thicker (4-5mm).
For the cookies
- 190g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 130g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
- 220g plain flour
- 75g dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the ganache
- 150g dark chocolate, chopped in squares
- 120ml double cream
- 20g unsalted butter
- 1 shot espresso
- pinch of salt
To make the cookies, place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, reduce the speed of the mixer to low, then add the dry ingredients in two batches until a dough forms. Tip on a clean work surface and knead gently until smooth and uniform. Wrap the dough loosely in cling film, press to form a disc, and keep in the fridge for at least 1 hour to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
Remove the dough from the fridge about 5 minutes before rolling, so that it has some malleability. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough so that it is about 3-5mm thick. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out circles and place them on the baking trays.
Bake from 13-15 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until firm. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool.
To make the ganache, add the cream and butter to a small saucepan and heat on low heat until the butter has melted and the cream is warmed throughout. Add chocolate to a large glass bowl. Pour the warmed cream and butter mixture over the chocolate. Add in the brewed coffee and a pinch of salt. Allow to stand for about 3-5 minutes to soften the chocolate completely. Stir briskly to combine and until smooth.
Leave the chocolate ganache to cool down completely, then spoon a heaped tablespoon on to the underside of a biscuit. Using a knife, spread it evenly all over the biscuit. Place another biscuit, underside down, on top of the ganache and sandwich together. Set aside while you repeat with the remaining biscuits and ganache.
Once baked and filled, the chocolate ‘o’ cookies will keep for 5 days in an airtight container.