Friday, August 24, 2012

Homemade Oreos

A great debate ensued after I made these cookies.  As you know, Dave is my got-to Chief of Dessert Recognition, often decides that the names of various recipes don't quite match the finished product, such as when he renamed these and these.  The actual name of these cookies are Homemade Oreos, but Dave thought they were too good to be called simply Oreos.  He wanted a bigger, better, more fantastic name to really define the goodness of these cookies.  And he threw out my idea of Faux-reos (which I thought was clever when I saw it on other blogs).  Unfortunately he didn't decide on anything before I posted today.  Even Ernie got into the discussion while he was beside himself enjoying what he called OMG-reos, stating he wasn't going to have anything to drink for an hour so he could savor the taste.  Then Dave started pondering why anyone would buy a regular store-bought Oreo when you could make these (answer: to dip it in chocolate or make truffles).  But honestly, these are delicious.  Because they are thicker than the machine pressed wafers from the package, they are a little bit softer, but overall it's a crisp cookie on the outside with a perfect intensity of chocolate.  And the cream filling!  Oh my, I can't believe how spot on that taste and texture is.  And all so simple.  Start to finish was about an hour and for it to be so perfect a replication, there is no reason not to try your hand at these.

My niece Elyse turned 10 (10!) last month so of course birthday baking was in order.  After sending Cake Batter Sandwich Cookies to Abi for her birthday, I figured Elyse would enjoy a sandwich-style treat as well.  I plucked this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  My cookies aren't quite as flat as Deb's but I know for next time to flatten them more and maybe use a touch less dough for each wafer.  Taking Deb's advice, I left out a 1/2 cup of sugar to let the taste mimic the original Oreo flavor, so that the sweetness wouldn't overpower the salt (the amount I used is listed below).   The filling is not like normal frosting and it should be hard to pipe, but I would recommend going through the trouble of a piping bag.  I decided to forgo the tip and just used the coupling because you'll need some serious squeezing to a get a dollop of filling the center of the cookies that you can squeeze to the edges when sandwiched together.  But I wouldn't recommend spreading the filling on because you'll run the risk of breaking the crispy cookie.  Trust me, the taste is worth a little extra piping effort.  Make these immediately if not sooner, share then so you don't eat them all in one sitting, be sad because they're all gone and repeat.  Seriously, though, wouldn't these be a lovely lunch box treat for back to school?

Homemade Oreos

Ingredients for cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
10 Tablespoons butter, softened (1 1/4 sticks)
1 egg

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.  On low speed, add the butter, then egg, and continue mixing until combined into a thick dough.

Drop rounded teaspoons of dough (Note: I used a small or teaspoon cookie scoop leveled flat) onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between.

 Slightly flatten the dough balls with hands.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 9 minutes.  Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.

Remove from oven and let cool on pans for 2-5 minutes then place on wire racks to complete cooling while preparing filling.

Ingredients for filling

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In the bowl of stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together butter and shortening, then reduce speed to low.

Sift powdered sugar and gradually add to creamed mixer, increasing speed to beat in vanilla.  Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer filling to a pastry bag with either a wide round tip or just a coupling.  Turn half the cookie wafers over and squeeze out blobs of filling into the center of the bottoms of those cookies.  Top with another like-sized cookie and squish together to push filling to the edges.

Makes about 25 cookies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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