Thomas Keller Oreos with peanut butter ganache

These cookies represent a convergence of two truly miraculous recipes– hang on, of course I’ll tell you. First, what seems like a bajillion years ago, I had a Super Bowl party, the highlight of which was probably a delivery by a thoughtful friend from Bouchon Bakery of macarons and Thomas Keller Oreos (the lowlight, if you’re interested, is documented here). Still intimidated by the idea of creating macarons at home, I was determined to find a recipe for those Oreos, so that I could enjoy the chocolate-y, wafer-y goodness whenever  I wanted. Of course, the internets had exactly what I needed, and I also happened to have a good amount of peanut butter ganache left over from a cupcake experiment about a week earlier. And so, given the Scientific Fact that chocolate + peanut butter = OMG I want to eat all of this right now, I knew what I had to do:

THIS. I didn’t have a small cutter, and ended up with absolutely enormous cookies, but the best part about this dough is that it seems to be endlessly variable, shape-wise. So get seasonal! Certainly there is some sort of Uncle Sam cookie cutter that I can use for the 4th, right?

Thomas Keller Oreos (recipe from GraceNotes NYC)

makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies

Ingredients
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, cut into 3/4″ cubes, at room temperature

Method
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed (Note: make sure your bowl is big enough so everything doesn’t splatter!)

With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time.

The mixture will be dry and sandy at first, but over 2 minutes, will form pebble-sie pieces that start to cling together. Stop the mixer and transfer the dough to your board.

Preheat oven to 350F. Separate dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to 1/8″ inch thick. Using the cutter of your choice, cut into rounds. Scraps can be pieced together and rolled out again. Place 1/2″ apart on baking sheets lined with Silpat liners or parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Ganache Filling (from the Crazy for Cupcakes cookbook)
(Note: the original recipe was for “peanut butter frosting,” but based on the texture of the finished product, I’m going to go ahead and call it ganache. Feel free to disagree, but you’d totally be wrong.)

Ingredients
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 1/3 cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Method

In a saucepan over high heat, bring the butter, brown sugar, and water to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. The finished product will be pretty runny, so you can leave it out to firm up at room temperature, or pop it into the fridge to speed things up.

(Another note: this recipes yields a crazy amount of ganache. You could easily half it and have enough for the cookies, but the leftovers are nice with ice cream…or a sneaky teaspoon here and there.)

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