Everything you want to know about chocolate
Have you seen Pinterest yet? (Yeah, we're on there — go follow us if you'd like.) I was on that site a couple weeks ago when I saw the most friggin' amazing thing: Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.
WTH!? This Picky Palate woman is a genius, I thought. And like most things genius, it seems so obvious in hindsight. Love cookies? Then how could you not love a cookie-stuffed cookie?
Problem is, I don't like Oreos. There, I said it. I think they're a dry, gritty, flavorless excuse to drink a buttload of milk. But when I tweeted about these things on our @seriouseats account (follow us there, too!), one of you out there suggested ... Nutter Butters. Whoever you were, I love you. (I'd thank you by name, but I can't remember who you were and can't find you via search. Sorry!)
I felt I had to try the original recipe, though, before messing around with a tweak. Follow me on a journey that would put the Cookie Monster out of commission.
Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, so I'm not going to blab too much here. You basically start off with a chocolate chip cookie recipe. My favorite chocolate chip cookie EVER is Alexis Stewart's, but those addictively crisp-chewy beauts won't work here. You want one that's more cakey and less prone to spread as it bakes. Just grab the one at Picky Palate — but may I suggest something? Halve the amount of chocolate chips in it (more on that later).
See also: The Best Chocolate Chips for Chocolate Chip Cookies »
Here's the takeaway:
Use a 1 1/2-tablespoon cookie scoop to dole out equal-size portions of dough, plopping one on either side of the Oreo. Resist the temptation to make the scoop too big. One that just fills the scoop will do.
Palm the sandwiched Oreo and apply gentle, even pressure to mash the cookie dough around the Oreo, being careful not to crush the boring little cookie as you do so. When the dough blobs meet, pinch them together to form a tight seam. Voilà! Now repeat until you use up the dough.
If you've done it right, it'll bake up to look like the cookie above, at right. If you didn't know any better, you'd never suspect what madness was concealed within. (Don't kick yourself if you use too much dough. It'll still work, but you'll get cookies that look tumorous — if you hunt a bit, you can see an example in the photo at left just above.)
And once again, just to hit you over the head with another beauty shot:
I quite liked this photo, which sets the scene with a glass of milk edging into the frame and the platter of cookies artfully blurred in the background, but my wife told me to lead with the one at the very top. "Cookie only!" she said. "It 'pops' better — more web-friendly."
She's full of good advice like that. And also with advice like this ...
Nutter Butter–Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies!
"A Nutter Butter has essentially the same color palette as chocolate chip cookie dough," I whined. "Part of the awesomeness of Picky Palate's cookies is the visual contrast you get when you take a bite."
"Use a chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough, duh," she replied.
Genius! And look at the result above. Striking, ain't it?
Same M.O. here as with the cookies above, except I used Cook's Illustrated's Thick and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookie recipe. (If you don't have a subscription to Cook's don't worry: Here's the same recipe on the Boston Globe's site.)
Honestly, though, if you have a double chocolate chip cookie recipe that's more cakey and doesn't spread out too much as it bakes, use that. The Cook's recipe was great, and it was everything it was billed to be, but it was way too chocolatey. Um, especially when I added extra chocolate chips, an option given in the recipe headnote. It all but obliterated the flavor of the Nutter Butter. Sad.
And if you do use the CI recipe, note that it's a little more sticky and that you should chill it for 15 or 20 minutes before handling it — or to firm it up as needed while you work.
These cookies are a little bit ... INTENSE. If you think about it, each one is basically a THREE-COOKIE MASHUP. As my friend Helen Rosner said when I blabbed about these on Facebook, "We made some last week and basically immediately acquired diabetes and died." Have a shot of insulin at the ready.
Yes, these cookies are a load of fun. But they're a stunt. They're a conversation-starter, so they'd be great to take to a potluck party or a cookie swap — just don't dish out any spoilers as to what's inside.
If you use the Picky Palate recipe, I'd suggest halving the amount of chocolate chips called for or at least three-quartering them (is that even a word?). As prepared, the chocolate in them masks the flavor of the Oreo. To my mind, that's fine, but if you're someone who likes Oreos, you'll actually want to taste them.
Go with Double Stuff Oreos. I sensed madness beforehand and timidly bought regular Oreos. Double Stuff would have helped give them more Oreoness.
Or go with another cookie entirely. Picky Palate smartly assessed the virality of these things and started stuffing the crap out everything she could get her hands on — brownie-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, Girl Scout–stuffed toaster studels — Hey, wait! Dammit! She must have picked up on my brainwaves here, because ...
Girl Scout Cookie–Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
It just so happened that I had some Girl Scout cookies on hand and thought it'd be fun to sandwich those with chocolate chip cookie dough. Above is a Peanut Butter Patty (AKA
And here's my favorite GSC of all time (I can't believe I debased such a glorious cookie in such a way ... I'm sorry, my love, I could not resist), the Caramel DeLite (AKA "Samoa"):
And, before anyone leaves a comment, no, "Samoas" are not being phased out in favor of "Caramel DeLites." It's not some PC name thing. It's just that the different licensed bakeries that supply the Girl Scouts call the same cookies different names. Wiki up on it here.
Again, the flavor? Utterly obliterated by the chocolate chips. I'm just glad I ate most of my Girl Scout cookies as-is while I was mixing up the different doughs above.
The only thing I'm really kicking myself for? Not making the turducken of stuffed cookies — an Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookie stuffed inside the chocolate-chocolate chip cookie.
Maybe next year. I'm cookied out.
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