Monday, October 29, 2012

Homemade Oreos (+ a serious dose of cabin fever)

I got a little lazy yesterday after finding out I wouldn't be at work today (or, likely, tomorrow-thanks Sandy). I have a terrible case of cabin fever, and you'd think I'd be used to it after dealing with winter storms consistently throughout my childhood. Weirdly enough, I think living through four floods in Iowa since 1993 has made me oddly calm about everything going on right now, and I feel more annoyed at being shut in than anything else. Mostly I've been watching FAR too much TV & eating pretty much everything in my kitchen. 

I've made kale chips (twice), pasta, apple cinnamon pancakes for on my list? A favorite of mine-homemade oreos. I stumbled across the recipe when reading a blog earlier this summer & traced it to Smitten Kitchen, a fantastic site for everything delicious. Since we still have power, I'm about to go take advantage of it & whip these up...they're super easy and immensely popular with my roomies & friends. 

*photos & recipe via Smitten Kitchen

Homemade Oreos
Adapted from Retro Desserts, Wayne Brachman
Let’s talk about the sugar for a minute, shall we? This is a sweet cookie. A good, sweet cookie. Yet, if you think of an actual Oreos, the wafers are fairly un-sweet and actually on the slightly salty side, which contrasts with the super-sweetness of the filling bringing harmony, happiness, yada yada. If you want your cookie closer to that original, you can take out a full half-cup of the sugar. If you want to make the cookie by itself (as I did a while back for ice cream sandwiches), go ahead and use the full amount.
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (45 grams, but cocoa weights can vary greatly) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups (200 to 300 grams) sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 140 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 55 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable shortening
2 cups (240 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 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. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

The above photo is from an earlier batch of mine...they didn't last long! I need a yummy dessert for this storm since I already finished all my ice cream.

I hope everyone on the East Coast is holding up alright! Thoughts are with all of you. 


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