Crack Cookies

Published March 3, 2015. Comments


Okay, so there's really not any crack in these cookies. I can't even remember who started calling them crack cookies but whomever did, said they craved it so badly after having just one. These are just homemade Oreo cookies. 

I started making these when I worked at a restaurant in Oakland. I researched where the recipe came from and it originated from one of my favorite pastry chefs, Wayne Brachman, from his book, Retro Desserts. The recipe I've been using is close the one I used at the restaurant except mine aren't soft and chewy. Mine is a little closer to the originial Oreo with just a touch of chewiness in the middle. Mine are also not anything like a whoopie pie. If you adjust the baking time a little longer to 11 minutes, you'll have the perfect cookie for ice cream sandwiches. 

It's also important to note the type of cocoa to use to make these cookies. I have used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa to get the black chocolate cookie that is the trademark for the original Oreo cookie. I found that using any other, including Dutch Process and regular Hershey's cocoa will give you a more milk chocolate color cookie. Sometimes when I've used Dutch Process, I've gotten a more reddish brown cookie, of which, I read somewhere that the baking powders and sodas in the dry mix react to the chemical in the Dutch Process cocoa. *shrugs* My favorite cocoa to use for this recipe is a Guittard's Black Cocoa Powder. I consistently get the same black chocolate cookie color like the original. 

This recipe will make about 30 sandwiches if you are using a 7/8 scoop. That's almost 2 tablespoons and makes about a 3 and 1/2 inch cookie. You will need to use a flat bottomed cup or glass to push down the cookie dough before you bake them. You will get perfectly round cookies.

I sprinkle a touch of fine Sicilian Sea Salt over the tops of the cookies before baking. One of my friends said that he loved this because the salt isn't just on the middle of the cookie. When you sprinkle the salt before they are baked, any salt that doesn't make it on the cookie, actually does make it on the cookie because the dough melts as it bakes and picks up the extra bits of salt grains. When it's done, sea salt is also around the edges of the cookie which helps accentuate the sweet and salty experience.

These cookies tend to puff up just a little when they bake. Once the timer goes off at 9 minutes, I take the sheet out and slightly tap the sheet on the counter to deflate them. 

Crack Cookies


1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferred Guittard's Black Cocoa Powder or Hershey's Special Dark)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons), room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large eggs

sea salt, optional but high recommended



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, add in the first 6 ingredients and mix on low ("stir" setting) until thoroughly mixed through
  3. Add room temperature butter, one piece at a time, allowing about 15 second intervals before throwing in the next pat of butter. 
  4. Once you've added all the butter, mix until it resembles coarse sand. 
  5. Stop your machine and add one egg. Start mixer on low and let the egg mix through before add the next egg. 
  6. The mixture should just come together but not be wet. If you push your finger into the dough (stop mixer first!) and the dough sticks together, then it's done. 
  7. I use 4 half sheet pans to bake one batch. 12 cookies to one sheet. Use your scoop to dole out each cookie making sure you wipe the edges of the scoop. This ensures that you get nice round cookies. 
  8. Once you have all 12 cookie mounds on your sheet, sprinkle each mound liberally with sea salt. 
  9. Use the flat bottom of a cup or glass to flatten each cookie mound slightly. 
  10. Bake for about 9 minutes. You may bake them up to 11 minutes if you want a crunchier cookie. 
  11. Let cool completely before filling them. 
  12. Fill them with your favorite buttercream frosting.