Food blog events used to be a regular part of my blogging routine. I found that they encouraged me to try new things as I sought out dishes that could be made to conform to the given theme. I seem to have gotten away from participating in blogging events lately but when I saw that the theme for this month’s Sugar High Friday, (hosted by Palachinka) was Copycat Recipes I knew it was an excuse to finally make TKO’s, (Thomas Keller Oreos). These have been on my ‘to-make’ list for ages but recently got bumped to the top after I sampled a real TKO from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.
The TKO’s at Bouchon Bakery are quite large and although usually I’m all for supporting anything that complies with my ‘Go Big or Go Home’ motto, today I decided to make baby TKO’s. Each one is only about an inch across which makes it easy to grab a whole handful to enjoy with a glass of milk.
TKO's (from Thomas Keller in Essence of Chocolate)
1/2 cup cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 1/2 ounces butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes
For the filling: Place the white chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk together to melt the chocolate. I find this is a pretty high chocolate-to-cream ratio, so if you are unable to get all the chocolate to melt, you can place the bowl over a bain-marie and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Transfer the filling to another bowl and let cool until it has thickened enough to spread - it may take a few hours. You can speed up the process by putting the bowl in the refrigerator. If the filling gets too stiff, you can heat it up again in the microwave.
For the cookies: you will make this dough and bake the cookies right away - there is no chilling time needed, so plan accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or Silpats.
Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in an electric mixer. With the mixer still running on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Let the dough continue mixing until it comes together - it should go from looking like pebbles or cornmeal to a cohesive mass.
Turn the dough out onto a floured working surface and work into a solid block. Divide the block into two pieces.
Working with one piece at a time, roll out between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/8" thick. Using a 2-in cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart (cookies will spread a bit in the oven).
Bake the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks for a few minutes (cookies will be too soft to move at first), then transfer cookies to wire racks and let finish cooling.
To assemble the cookies: Place half of the cookies upside down on a work surface.
Whisk the filling lightly to fluff it up a bit and make it spreadable.
Using a small spoon, scoop a small dollop of filling onto the center of each cookie. Top with another cookie right side up. Press the cookies together until the filling spreads out to the edges.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies (or 18 sandwiches)
The cookies with keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.