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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: about 27 sandwich cookies

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Who doesn't love these dark-as-sin sandwich cookies? Who hasn't ALWAYS loved them? They're a childhood favorite, but let's face it; many of us still rank them #1 in our personal Cookie Hall of Fame.

This updated classic includes trans-fat-free shortening in the filling, and organic white whole wheat flour in the cookie. Use our regular King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or our unbleached organic flour) if you must; but trust me, you'll never know you're eating whole wheat when you bake with our King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour. I say this with pride: it's the best flour on the planet!

P.S. Spring for the black cocoa, too; it makes these cookies black as a moonless night, just like the supermarket originals.

Read our blog about these cookies, with additional photos, at Flourish.


star rating (54) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 27 sandwich cookies
Published: 01/01/2010




  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if you're making the peppermint version)
  • 2 teaspoons cold water*

Tips from our bakers

  • For cookies with pink peppermint filling, add the following to the filling: 6 standard candy canes (or 3 ounces hard peppermint candies), finely chopped. Increase the water in the filling to 2 tablespoons.


1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, or more if you have them.

2) To make the cookies: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and espresso powder. That's right; there's no leavening in this recipe, so don't worry that something's been left out.

3) Beat in the egg, water, and vanilla, then the flour and cocoa. The dough will be very stiff.

4) Roll the dough into balls about the size of a chestnut (about 2 level teaspoons). A teaspoon cookie scoop works fabulously here, as well as for the filling. If you don't have one, consider a purchase; you won't regret it. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2" to 2" between them.

5) Use the flat bottom of a glass, dipped in cocoa as necessary to prevent sticking, to flatten the cookies to about 1/8" to 3/16" thick. The end of a food processor's pusher tool works well here, too. Take a ruler and measure the cookies' thickness; you want to get pretty close to this measurement, for the best-textured cookies.

6) Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. It's important to bake them just the right amount of time; too little, and they won't be crisp; too much, and they'll scorch. Watch them closely at the end of the baking time, and if you start to smell scorching chocolate before the time is up, take them out. When they're done, remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool completely, on a rack or on the pan.

7) While the cookies are cooling, make the filling.

8) Beat together the sugar, shortening, and vanilla. It'll seem very dry at first, but will eventually begin to clump together.

9) Add the water, beating till smooth and spreadable. The filling should be stiff, but not so stiff that you can't flatten it when you sandwich it between the cookies.

10) Place one level tablespoon filling in the center of one cookie; again, a teaspoon cookie scoop, slightly heaped, is perfect for this task. Place another cookie atop the filling, and squeeze to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container.


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  • star rating 02/15/2015
  • Delaney from Topeka, KS
  • I made this recipe today as a belated Valentine's gift to my family visiting from out of town. It turned out wonderfully! I used the Dutch cocoa with white whole wheat flour and the cookie part tasted perfect--like a less processed version of an Oreo. That recipe will become a staple. I used granulated Splenda for half of the sugar since my dad has to watch his blood sugar, and no one could tell. The dough doesn't roll or shape, so be sure to use a rollout cookie recipe if that's what you're looking for. (I originally intended to make heart-shaped cookies.) For the filling, I used all butter and added a tiny bit of almond extract. I whirled the Splenda in a food processor with some cornstarch to make a fake powdered sugar...it worked okay once mixed with a bit of real powdered sugar, but I don't suggest doing it unless you really have to have the substitute. Next time, I'll experiment with a cream cheese filling.
  • star rating 02/04/2015
  • Liz from New York, NY
  • I've made these twice, once with Dutch process cocoa, once with black cocoa, and I have to say that, while both were good, the black cocoa makes all of the difference. I also found that rather than cocoa, I brushed a tiny bit of water on the bottom of the custard cup I was using to flatten the cookies and it worked great. I just had to re-apply with my fingers every 3rd cookie or so, and it had no adverse affect on them in baking. This definitely stays in the cookie rep!
  • star rating 01/25/2015
  • Christen from Comanche, Oklahoma
  • Milk dunking delicious. I used the dutch-processed cocoa and added a tablespoon of cornstarch with the flour in mixture. I baked them 325 for 10 minutes, cooled them for 10 minutes flipped them over and baked another 10. I let them cool completedly and baked another 10 minutes (actually I let them set overnight and second baked the next day) Somehow that second baking took these to a delicious crisp brownie tasting wafer cookie to an oreo tasting cookie. Winner.
  • star rating 12/15/2014
  • Sally from MN
  • Family loves them. I roll the dough between parchment, use a small cutter and refrigerate them before separating them and baking. I tried the roll into balls and flatten the last time I made them and found it to be very frustrating, with the dough sticking to everything. I use half butter, half shortening in the filling. The black cocoa makes them perfect, but it sure does get everywhere!
  • star rating 11/22/2014
  • natureladyrx from KAF Community
  • These were okay, but not great. The cookie was so dark chocolate as to be almost bitter. I did not use KAF black cocoa, but rather used an off-brand. In a recipe like this, where the black cocoa is such a critical ingredient, that was probably a mistake. Overall, though, I was not impressed enough to try this recipe again with better quality black cocoa. We're sorry this recipe wasn't to your liking. Duplicating anything we have strong memories of can fail to meet expectations. In addition, dark cocoa makes it tough to tell when the cookies are just done. Happy baking, anyway! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 07/10/2014
  • Lauren from Costa Mesa, CA
  • These taste better than regular Oreos. The icing is difficult to put on the cookie, it could be creamier. Overall though, these cookies are a big hit adults and children alike.
  • star rating 05/05/2013
  • Deb from Wilbraham, MA
  • I've made these a few times and they have always been well received. Since I love a dark crisp cookie in ice cream sandwiches, I decided to use this cookie dough. After chilling it, I rolled it out thin and cut it in medium circles. Homemade vanilla ice cream was sandwiched in and then they were frozen hard. Excellent results!
  • star rating 03/25/2013
  • Barb from Washington
  • I used the KAF chocolate cookie mix as a shortcut, which produces a dark black cookie, and these were pronounced "better than the original" by our teenager! Sounds like refrigerating the dough and rolling it out is the easier way to do these - I had no issues that way and no sticking problems. Used a tiny wine sampling glass to cut my circles, and these came out perfectly sized. I got 24 cookies with a little leftover dough. Will definitely make again and try different fillings!
  • star rating 02/07/2013
  • Judy from MN
  • I made these for the first time yesterday--got the recipe from the KA Cookie cookbook, which gives instructions for chilling, rolling and cutting the dough into circles. My first attempt was a disaster. By the time I had rolled the chilled dough out and cut it, the shapes were way too soft to transfer to a baking sheet so I gathered the dough up and rolled it out again on a sheet of parchment paper. Then I put the sheet of dough in the freezer (on a cookie sheet to keep it flat) for about 30 minutes. The frozen dough cut and transferred like a dream and the cookies turned out great! I cut them into heart shapes and put them together with raspberry-flavored filling. Lovely!
  • star rating 01/21/2013
  • from
  • i have made these many times, always to rave reviews. i like them best when i add peppermint oil to the filling!
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