Double Chocolate Oriolos

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes:

    2¼ inch


Appears in

These amazing cookies are named for Richard Oriolo, beloved art director and designer of all of my books, because he simply cannot eat enough of them. Perhaps it’s because they are intensely chocolatey and buttery yet extraordinarily light, and so easy to swallow. The chocolate buttercream topping is silky smooth under its crown of crunchy toasted walnuts. It stays spreadably soft for hours at room temperature but hardens overnight or on refrigeration just enough to be able to stack the cookies for packaging.

This cookie has it all—guaranteed to become part of your permanent collection.

Preheat the oven to: 325°F.
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes
KEEPS: 3 weeks at room temperature, several months frozen.
volume ounces grams
Chocolate Cookies
walnuts, divided ½ cup + cup 4.25 ounces 120 grams
unsalted butter, cold 10 tablespoons 5 ounces 142 grams
unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed ¼ cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 0.75 ounce 23 grams
powdered sugar cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 1.33 ounces 38 grams
granulated sugar cup 2.33 ounces 66 grams
bleached all-purpose flour ¾ cup (dip and sweep method) 3.75 ounces 109 grams
Chocolate Walnut Buttercream ½ cup
bittersweet chocolate, preferably Lindt 1 3-ounce bar 3 ounces 84 grams
unsalted butter, softened 3 tablespoons 1.5 ounces 43 grams
corn syrup ½ teaspoon
pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon


At least 15 minutes before baking, place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

Place the walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

Food Processor Method

Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes, and wrap and refrigerate.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process ½ cup ( ounces/50 grams) of the walnuts, the cocoa and the powdered and granulated sugars until the walnuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse in until absorbed. Add the flour and pulse in until there are a lot of little moist crumbly pieces and no dry flour particles remain.

Dump the dough into a plastic bag and press it together. Remove the dough from the bag and knead it lightly until it holds together.

Electric Mixer Method or by Hand

Soften the butter. Grate ½ cup of the walnuts very fine. Sift the cocoa.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the grated walnuts, cocoa and sugars.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar mixture until light and fluffy. With the electric mixer or your fingers, mix in the flour until incorporated. (If using the mixer, add the flour in two parts.)

For Both Methods

Measure scant tablespoons of dough. Roll each tablespoon of dough between your palms to form a 1-inch ball. Place them 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Use the bottom of a glass tumbler, dipped in granulated sugar, to flatten each cookie to about inches in diameter.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes or until they are firm enough to lift from the sheets but still soft when pressed lightly on top. (Do not overbake.) For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer them to racks to cool completely.

While the cookies are baking, prepare the chocolate buttercream topping: In the upper container of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water over low heat, melt the chocolate. (Or melt in a microwave on high power, stirring every 10 seconds.) Remove the upper container from the heat before the chocolate is fully melted and stir until blended. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until blended. If necessary, return briefly to the heat but do not allow the mixture to become too hot or the butter will separate. Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla. Let the buttercream stand at room temperature for about 1 hour or until thick enough to spread.

Chop the remaining cup of toasted walnuts medium-coarse.

Use a small metal spatula to spread the buttercream on the cookies. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Allow the topping to set overnight at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes before storing the cookies in airtight containers.