Several weaknesses came to mind, including doughnuts, pasta, and Oreo cookies. I decided on Oreos, but not just any Oreos. I've never had them before, but Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery apparently sells TKOs (Thomas Keller Oreos). Oreos are one of Keller's favorite snacks, and are reinterpreted at Bouchon Bakery using chocolate sable dough and sweet white chocolate ganache filling.
I was surprised the recipe was not in Bouchon, but apparently is published in Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate, and was readily available on various food blogs.
Addendum: I'm now editing this post slightly because I did find a recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Cookies in Keller's Ad Hoc at Home. The ingredients and quantities are the same as the chocolate sable recipe posted for the TKO cookies, but the method is slightly different (cutting the cookies to 1/4 inch thickness rather than 1/8 inch, and chilling vs. not chilling the dough). When I make these again, and I will be making these again, I think cutting to 1/4 inch thickness and chilling the dough is the preferred method.
Thomas Keller Oreo Cookies aka TKOsSlightly adapted from recipes posted on the web and from Ad Hoc at Home
Makes about 18, 2-inch round sandwiched oreo cookies
White Chocolate Ganache Filling
1/2 cup cream
8 ounces quality white chocolate, chopped
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon high quality, unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Scharffen Berger)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 tablespoons (7.5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
To prepare the filling, coarsely chop white chocolate and place in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and allow to sit for one minute. Whisk together until all the chocolate is melted. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to thicken for 5-6 hours.
Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few pieces at a time. The dough will have a sandy texture, then form pebble-size pieces. Continue mixing until the dough just starts to cling to the paddle and no longer looks dry. Do not wait for it to form a solid mass.
Turn the dough out onto a board and use the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper to bring the dough together. Shape into a block about 5 x 7 inches. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (the dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks; defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator).
Cut the block in half. One at a time, roll each piece of dough out between two pieces of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and reserve. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Cover with reserved parchment, slide onto a baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Position oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or Silpats.
Remove the cookies from the refrigerator. Take off the top sheet of parchment paper. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking time.
Remove sheets from the oven and let cool on wire racks for a few minutes, then carefully transfer cookies directly to wire racks and let finish cooling.
Whisk the white chocolate ganache briefly and transfer it into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip for easier and cleaner filling of the cookies. Match up two cookie halves by size and pipe a small amount of ganache in the center of one half. Press the other half gently over the top until the ganache spreads out to the edge. Don't overfill as the ganache will ooze out.
Serve with a large glass of milk, or wine, or champagne.
If not totally devoured within two hours of baking, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
I had high expectations for these TKOs, and they did rise to the occasion. But I've got to tell you, after tasting Nina's Thomas Keller Peanut Butter Truffles, I may have a new guilty pleasure for 2011.
Here's our Reflections 2010 slideshow...
Happy New Year!
Denise, John and Dooley