Every year, between Christmas and New Year’s, we deliver a thank you gift to one of our neighbors. They keep an eye on our house when we aren’t there, recommend plumbers, advise on various things… and are generally great people. A bottle of champagne and something homemade–chocolate dipped Oreo cookies this year!
Of course I was going to make these homemade–and I was pretty sure there was going to be more to it than “dip Oreo in melted chocolate and turn with fork.” After my ice cream bar fiasco last summer, I knew that dipping in chocolate can have its challenges!
So I did some research, a few tests, and learned the following, which I wanted to share with you.
My Chocolate Dipped Oreo Experience
The first lesson I learned (and, okay, I admit I knew better) was don’t add an alcohol or water based flavor (or color) to chocolate, especially white chocolate. I had about six ounces of vanilla wafers seize (that is, turn clumpy, dry and grainy) when I added vanilla in alcohol. I could swear I’ve done this before and it is the reason I use the Wilton Candy Melts rather than real white chocolate (since the wafers are designed to be more forgiving). My peppermint flavoring, which is in oil, worked great for the next batch (I tossed the first).
A metal bowl in a saucepan makes a fine improvised double boiler. Many people will microwave chocolate, but I find it much easier to keep the chocolate at a consistent temperature in a double boiler (and I work slowly). Keep the water in the saucepan at a simmer (or just below simmer) rather than a boil to reduce the risk of scorching your chocolate and be careful not to get water in the chocolate. If you don’t own a double boiler, you can try slipping a metal bowl into a saucepan of water.
An “official” technique for tempering chocolate would have you melt about 2/3 of your chocolate until a nice liquid, then add in the remaining 1/3 and stirring to combine, heating just a bit more as needed (details here). I did this for the first dipping, then got lazy and just stirred in more chips whenever the bowl got low, and was still happy with the results.
Hand dipping was easier than using a fork, which when I tried it, resulted in a cookie with fork marks. Dipping using fondue forks didn’t work at all. Our really slim fondue forks went in great, then the cookie split as soon as it was hit with the weight of the chocolate.
In the end, I found two techniques that worked. Version 1: grasp a cookie between thumb and forefinger and dip the bottom half getting chocolate as far up the sides as possible. Set on a plate, chocolate side up, and cool in the refrigerator. When hard, repeat, dipping the other side. (Note that if your melted chocolate is too hot to touch, it is above the proper temperature for dipping),
Version 2: grasp a cookie between thumb and forefinger and dip the bottom half getting chocolate as far up the sides as possible, immediately flip over, shaking off excess chocolate, and dip the remaining half. Dry on wax paper. This was quicker, but sometimes I got a little pooling of chocolate on the wax paper.
In the end I was happy with my results and it was much less traumatic than trying to dip ice cream! My kids and husband agreed–I had to fight them off to make sure I had enough to give as a gift!
Chocolate Dipped Oreo Cookies
- 1 package Oreo Cookies
- 2-3 cups chocolate chips (I used most of a 12 oz package of chocolate chips and a 12 oz package of vanilla Wilton Candy Melts and did this in two batches)
- 1/4 t peppermint flavor in oil per cup of chips (optional)
- crushed peppermint candy or other decoration (optional)
- Heat 2/3 of (one flavor of) chocolate, and oil-based flavor if using, in a double boiler. With water at a low simmer, stir until melted and liquidy. Add remaining 1/3 chocolate and continue stirring until melted.
- Holding cookie between thumb and forefinger, dip one oreo at a time in chocolate coating bottom and mostly up the sides. (Note: you aren’t really dipping your fingers in the chocolate but if it is too hot to touch, it is too hot for proper dipping. Take off heat and stir until a bit cooler). Turn cookie over, shaking off excess and dip the top. (See above for alternative technique).
- Place oreos on wax paper to set. If using crushed peppermint, add this now so it will stick.
- Allow to cool and dry completely before removing from wax paper.