Best Secret Chocolate Cookies Recipes

5 Best Secret Chocolate Cookies Recipes

My Healthopedia Team diet

CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES

MAKES ABOUT 40 SANDWICH COOKIES

CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIES

Why This Recipe Works: Given the tagline “milk’s favorite cookie,” it’s no surprise Oreos unfailingly appeal to the kid in everyone, ourselves included. But we have to admit that nostalgia may have clouded our memory, as we’ve come to realize that the flavor of Oreos is, in fact, pretty bland and only mildly chocolaty. We set out to re-create—and improve—these iconic cookies. For that midnight-black Oreo color, we turned to specialty black cocoa powder (a heavily Dutched cocoa powder). Black cocoa has almost no fat, so we cut it with some standard Dutch-processed cocoa to prevent our cookies from crumbling. To achieve the rich flavor and melt-away texture of classic Oreo filling, we used a combination of butter and shortening. Whether you’re a dunker or you prefer to twist and lick, you’ll find these homemade cookies have supreme flavor and texture that make the effort worthwhile. It is important to slice the cookies exactly to size so they are thin enough to have the classic Oreo snap. You can order black cocoa powder online.

COOKIES

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 5 tablespoons softened, divided
¼ cup (¾ ounce) black cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 large egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

FILLING

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cookies

  1. Stir melted butter, black cocoa, Dutch-processed cocoa, and espresso powder in bowl until combined and smooth.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat softened butter, sugar, salt, and cocoa mixture on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Continue to mix until dough forms cohesive ball, about 30 seconds.
  3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 6-inch log. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap, twisting ends to firmly compact dough into tight cylinder, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  4. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Trim ends of dough logs, then slice into ⅛-inch-thick rounds and space them ½ inch apart on prepared sheets.
  5. Bake until cookies are firm and reveal slight indentation when pressed with your finger, 14 to 16 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely.
  6. For the filling: Using clean, dry mixer bowl and paddle, mix butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  7. Place rounded ½ teaspoon filling in center of bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing gently until filling spreads to edges. Serve. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES WITH MILK CHOCOLATE FILLING

MAKES 24 SANDWICH COOKIES

PEANUT-BUTTER-SANDWICH-COOKIES-WITH-MILK-CHOCOLATE-FILLING

Why This Recipe Works: Chocolate and peanut butter is a much-loved combination that stands the test of time. But in cookie form the chocolate is often an afterthought—a sprinkling of chips mixed into a peanut butter dough. We wanted to create a sandwich cookie that would give chocolate its share of the spotlight in the form of a creamy filling layered between thin, crunchy peanut butter cookies. Focusing first on the cookies, we found that a combination of peanut butter and finely chopped peanuts contributed big flavor. The addition of some milk helped the dough spread during baking while a full teaspoon of baking soda created air bubbles that burst before the cookies set, resulting in thin, crisp cookies. For the filling, we started with a base of peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar; after mixing in a variety of chocolates we settled on milk chocolate for its comforting familiarity and sweet dairy notes. We heated the peanut butter in the microwave before adding the chocolate; the warm peanut butter melted the chocolate and made the filling easy to spread. Do not use unsalted peanut butter. Take care when processing the peanuts—you want to chop them, not turn them into a paste.

COOKIES

1¼ cups raw or dry-roasted peanuts, toasted and cooled
¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup (3½ ounces) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg

FILLING

½ cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped fine
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
Why This Recipe Works Chocolate and pean

For the cookies

  1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pulse peanuts in food processor until finely chopped, about 8 pulses. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Whisk melted butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk, and egg together in second bowl. Using rubber spatula, stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture until combined. Stir in chopped peanuts until evenly distributed.
  2. Using 1-tablespoon measure or #60 scoop, drop 12 mounds evenly onto each prepared sheet. Using your dampened hand, press each mound until 2 inches in diameter.
  3. Bake cookies until deep golden brown and firm to touch, 15 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let baking sheets cool completely and repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.
  4. For the filling: Microwave peanut butter until melted and warm, about 40 seconds. Stir chocolate into warm peanut butter until melted, microwaving for 10 seconds at a time if necessary. Using rubber spatula, stir in confectioners’ sugar until combined.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon (or #60 scoop) warm filling in center of bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing gently until filling spreads to edges. Let filling set for 1 hour before serving. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED POTATO CHIP COOKIES

MAKES 24 COOKIES

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED-POTATO-CHIP-COOKIES

Why This Recipe: Works The potato chip cookie is one in a long line of recipes invented by manufacturers to push their products on consumers—and, in this case, we’re totally fine with that. This retro treat brings together sugar, salt, and crunch for an addictive combination of flavors and textures. We wanted to take these old-fashioned cookies to the next level by dipping them in chocolate for a sophisticated finishing touch. The cookie itself should be multi-textured, with the right balance of shortness and chew. Using half granulated sugar and half confectioners’ sugar gave us a cookie that was tender without being too delicate. Tasters preferred potato chip crumbs to the shards found in many recipes—all of the crunch without the sharp edges. Using reduced-fat chips eliminated greasiness and prevented the edges of the cookies from darkening too much. Chopped pecans—a common addition—provided a nice nutty crunch. For the coating, we opted for bittersweet chocolate, which we simply melted in the microwave. After dipping our cookies in the rich, dark chocolate, we added a sprinkle of sea salt for a final flourish. Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chips are the test kitchen favorite among reduced-fat chips.

COOKIES

¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ ounces reduced-fat potato chips, crushed fine (½ cup)
¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped fine
¼ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) granulated sugar
¼ cup (1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
Flake sea salt

For the cookies

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, potato chips, pecans, and table salt in bowl.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture in 3 additions. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and space them 3 inches apart on prepared sheets. Using floured dry measuring cup, press each ball to ¼-inch thickness.
  3. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until just set and lightly browned on bottom, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool completely on sheet, about 15 minutes.
  4. Microwave chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Carefully dip half of each cooled cookie in chocolate, scraping off excess with finger, and place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt over warm chocolate and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 15 minutes. Serve. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

THIN CHOCOLATE MINT COOKIES

MAKES ABOUT 70 COOKIES

THIN-CHOCOLATE-MINT-COOKIES

Why This Recipe: Works Thin Mints—the best-selling Girl Scout cookies with a crisp chocolate coating and just the right amount of cool mint flavor—are a favorite of children and adults alike. No longer wanting to count the days until the cookie season arrives, we decided to re-create them. To keep the mint flavor in check, we used peppermint oil in the chocolate coating only and omitted it from the cookie itself. Thin Mints get their crisp, short texture from palm kernel oil but we found that coconut oil, which is in the same family, did the trick. Baking the cookies until they were thoroughly dry ensured the proper crunch. For the shell, we knew we would need to temper the chocolate. We turned to our easy microwave method, which yielded a chocolate coating that was every bit as attractive and crisp as one made by the traditional method. (For more information on tempering chocolate, see this page.) Our spin on Thin Mints doesn’t just live up to our expectations; it exceeds them—Scout’s honor.

COOKIES

1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup (1½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup refined coconut oil, chilled
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CHOCOLATE COATING

1 pound semisweet chocolate (12 ounces chopped fine, 4 ounces grated), divided
⅛ teaspoon peppermint oil

  1. For the cookies: Whisk flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in bowl; set aside. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat oil and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add milk, egg, and vanilla; and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until just combined, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Divide dough in half. Form each half into 4-inch disk, wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until dough is firm yet malleable, about 45 minutes.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll into 11-inch circle, about ⅛ inch thick, between 2 large sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Remove top piece of parchment. Using 1¾-inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds; space rounds ½ inch apart on prepared sheets. Gently reroll scraps ⅛ inch thick, cut into rounds, and transfer to prepared sheets. Bake until cookies are very firm, 16 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cookies cool completely.
  3. For the chocolate coating: Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Microwave finely chopped chocolate and oil in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring often, until about two-thirds melted, 2 to 4 minutes. (Melted chocolate should not be much warmer than body temperature; check by holding bowl in palm of your hand.) Add grated chocolate and stir until smooth, returning to microwave for no more than 5 seconds at a time to finish melting if necessary.
  4. Working with 1 cookie at a time, place cookie on fork and dip bottom of cookie in chocolate. Using offset spatula, spread chocolate over top of cookie, creating thin coating. Transfer cookie to prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining cookies. Let cookies sit until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes, before serving. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.)

CHOCOLATE TURTLE COOKIES

MAKES ABOUT 30 COOKIES

CHOCOLATE TURTLE COOKIES

Why This Recipe Works: Pecan turtles are so good because they pack multiple flavors and textures into every bite: Crunchy, buttery pecans are held together by chewy, sweet caramel, and the whole thing is coated with rich chocolate. We wanted to translate this irresistible combination into an equally satisfying cookie. A thumbprint cookie was the ideal choice; its hollowed-out center could conveniently hold a pour of gooey caramel. Cocoa powder gave the base of our cookie—a rich chocolate dough—its deep flavor; since cocoa powder contains no sugar, it kept our cookies from being too sweet when paired with the caramel. For a dense, tender cookie, we omitted the egg white (and saved it for the coating) and added just one yolk. Rolling the balls of dough in chopped pecans provided all-around crunch. To keep things simple, we used store-bought caramel candies for the filling and melted them down with heavy cream. We filled the cookie divots with caramel when the cookies were done baking so it set without becoming too hard or chewy. Be sure to microwave the caramel and cream in a bowl large enough to contain the mixture, and stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from bubbling over or scorching.

COOKIES

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (1 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup (4⅔ ounces) sugar
1 large egg, separated, plus 1 large white, divided
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups pecans, chopped fine
14 soft caramels
3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the cookies

  1. Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place pecans in second bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans; space balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Using greased rounded ½-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each dough ball. Bake until cookies are set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. When cookies are done baking, gently reshape indentation with ½-teaspoon measure. Fill each indentation with ½ teaspoon caramel mixture. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)