This post started with a little something called a craving. For Oreos. My sister was talking about eating Oreos one day, and the seed was planted. I wanted some. I went to the grocery store, and lo and behold, there was a little coupon offering a $1.50 off a package of Oreos with the purchase of a 1/2 gallon of milk. I needed milk. It was even on my list. So, I strolled over to the cookie aisle where I picked up a package of those little dark, creme-filled cookies. Then I remembered: I don’t buy things like this. Seriously. You’ll almost never find them in our home. Why? First, because if we have them, we will eat them. Quickly. And who needs that? Second, I don’t like to buy cookies when I can make them myself, especially when the ones you buy cost so much more than the ones you make. And, finally, for the most part, I prefer not to buy many packaged foods. I just think fresh food is better….but, I really wanted Oreos. So, I started to put them in the buggy, thinking “I’ll buy these because I can’t make them. I mean, we’re not talking chocolate chips, you know.” Then I wondered, “Could I make Oreos at home?” and put the package back and headed home to hunt for a recipe.
It wasn’t hard to find one. A quick search led me to Smitten Kitchen and this recipe. I’ve adapted it just a bit, but you can find the original recipe here.
These are good. There’s no denying that. The cookies themselves don’t have quite the same texture as packaged Oreos, but the overall effect is quite the same….in fact, according to my five-year-old, it’s better. They’re also relatively easy to make. Here’s how:
For the cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons water (optional)
- Preheat to 375°F.
- Thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. Add the butter. (I added little bits at a time until all was added and the mixture looked crumbly.) Add the egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together in a mass. (It seemed for a while as though this was NOT going to happen, then I turned away for a moment and the magic happened. It looked much like play-dough…)
- Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. (Here’s where I get honest… I never use parchment paper. I don’t ever have it on hand, and when I go purchase it, I talk myself out of spending the money. I used a little cooking spray, but I think the cookies would have been fine…maybe better…without it. Oh, and I also am terrible about spacing cookies. Thankfully, these didn’t spread much.) I made different sizes and found small ones worked well, but I think the best size was about the size of a gumball. I rolled them up then placed them on the sheet and pressed them down a bit.
- Bake for about 10 minutes. Cool on wire wracks.
- To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy. This is when I added the water because the mixture was much too thick without it. If needed, add a 1/2 tsp. at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. (Note: You do not need a pastry bag. I had parchment triangles on hand so I used those without a decorating tip. Putting the mixture in a Ziploc and snipping off one corner will work as well.) Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.
These were very good when I first made them, but the next day, they tasted even more like Oreos. Next time, I get a craving, I’ll know just what to do!
What are you making yourself this week?