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I want to make homemade oreo-type cookies using an embossed roller with a recipe I've used and love, but it puffs too much to keep the detail. Brave tart's oreo cookies are the look I'm after, but her recipe has far less cocoa and chocolate. Is it possible to change this recipe to avoid spreading and puffing?

Here's the recipe:

Homemade Oreo Cookies
Source: Flour Bakery, via Boston Globe

1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg
1½ cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup (90 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate. Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. The dough will start to seem too floury, and you will find it easiest to switch to mixing it with your hands until it comes together. It will have the consistency of Play-Doh. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to firm up.
  3. Transfer the dough to a 15-inch square sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Using your hands, shape the dough into a rough log about 10 inches long and 21/2 inches in diameter. Place the log at the edge of the sheet of parchment paper, and roll the parchment around the log. With the log fully encased in parchment, roll it into a smoother log, keeping it at 21/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. The log may settle and sink a bit in the fridge, so reroll it every 15 minutes or so to maintain a nice round log, if you like. If not, your cookies will be more oblong than round, which is not a bad thing taste-wise, though they won’t look like the famous packaged cookie. (At this point, the dough log can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If the dough is frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.)
  4. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter it.
  5. Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Check them frequently after 16 or 17 minutes, poking them in the middle. As soon as they feel firm to the touch, remove them from the oven. You can’t judge by color because they start out black. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack to warm or room temperature.

For reference, here's Brave Tart's recipe, via Serious Eats:

Ingredients
For the Chocolate Wafers:

4 ounces unsalted butter (about 8 tablespoons; 115g), creamy and soft, about 68°F (20°C)
3 1/2 ounces sugar (about 1/2 cup; 100g)
2 ounces golden syrup (about 3 tablespoons; 55g), such as Lyle’s
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
5 3/4 ounces bleached all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups, spooned; 165g), such as Gold Medal
1 1/4 ounces Dutch-process cocoa powder (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 35g), such as Cacao Barry Extra Brute, plus more for dusting
For the Filling:
6 ounces unsalted butter (about 12 tablespoons; 170g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
8 1/2 ounces powdered sugar (about 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon; 240g)

Directions

For the Chocolate Wafer Dough: Combine butter, sugar, golden syrup, baking soda, salt, and coconut extract (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to moisten, then increase to medium and beat until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes, pausing to scrape bowl and beater about halfway through.

Sift flour and cocoa together. (If using cup measures, spoon into the cups and level with a knife before sifting.) With mixer running on low speed, sprinkle flour/cocoa mixture into butter mixture. It will seem dry and mealy at first, but continue mixing to form a smooth dough. Knead against sides of bowl to form a smooth ball, then divide in half and flatten into disks. Use immediately or wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 1 week; soften cold dough 30 minutes at room temperature, then knead on a bare surface until pliable and smooth.

For the Wafers: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C). On a cocoa-dusted surface, roll a portion of dough into a 7-inch square. Sprinkle both sides with cocoa and roll until 1/4 inch thick; generously dust with cocoa and continue rolling to 1/8 inch (see note). Alternatively, roll dough to 1/8 inch using an embossed pin. Slide an offset spatula under dough to loosen, brush away excess cocoa, and stamp into 1 1/2–inch rounds.

Arrange on a parchment-lined aluminum baking sheet, leaving 1/4 inch between wafers. Gather scraps, knead, re-roll, and cut as before. Repeat with remaining dough as well. Any remaining scraps can be discarded or baked to grind for crumbs. Bake until wafers are firm and dry, about 15 minutes, and cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Fill immediately or store in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature.

  • Have you tried Brave Tart's recipe? Having less chocolate doesn't necessarily mean that the flavor won't be there. – Catija Oct 23 '17 at 16:30
  • How did you measure things? By weight or by volume? (volume is notoriously unreliable unless the recipe or cookbook give specific details on how to measure it (scoop & sweep, spoon & sweep, etc. Even then it's not great) – Joe Oct 23 '17 at 20:39
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I haven't made them but Stella Parks (BraveTart) claims that her cookies are "bonkers chocolatey". She tweeted, in response to your question:

My homemade Oreos are bonkers chocolatey due to the high fat Dutch cocoa involved; if they didn’t turn it that way, I’d blame crappy cocoa.

It's unclear whether you made the recipe or not but I think you should try it. Having more chocolate doesn't necessarily mean that it will taste more chocolatey. High quality chocolate used the right way will make a stronger flavor than more, low-quality chocolate.

She also pointed out that the percentages of the two recipes are very different.

The bakers % of those 2 recipes are v diff, so OP isn’t looking at the whole picture.

And she's right. I'm not an expert in interpreting baking percentages but there's a lot of difference between the two. Stella's recipe is more of a cracker/biscuit (UK). There's no egg in the recipe, not much moisture at all, so there's not much to spread. As such, the cookies are rolled and cut out and retain their stamped designs.

The other recipe is more like a cake (and the images support that interpretation); liquid egg, liquid chocolate... melted butter. They're rolled into a tube and sliced. This leads to a leavened, puffy cookie that spreads, ruining any design.

There may be a way to adjust the Flour Bakery recipe but I think you might find it simpler to start by trying BraveTart's recipe (using a good quality cocoa powder) and seeing what you think.

  • 1
    I have not made Brave Tart's recipe, but I can see that's the best next step, especially since it was the picture in her book I got for my birthday, along with the gorgeous embossing roller, that was the inspiration for this post. I'll be making these for our annual church tea for 500 ladies, and I want to get it right! Thanks, Stella, Joe and Catija for your swift and seasoned advice. – user21291 Oct 24 '17 at 17:01
  • Glad to help! If you find you want help adjusting Stella's recipe after you test it out, feel free to come back and ask a new question! I hope your tea is lovely! – Catija Oct 24 '17 at 17:03

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