Homemade Oreos

Confession time.  Oreos are delicious.  I can probably count on one hand the number of Oreos I eat in a year, but they are delicious.  (Ok maybe 2 hands.)  I prefer double-stuffed or peanut butter stuffed…or double-stuffed dipped in peanut butter.

…I am honestly way healthier than I must seem in these posts.

Ok so we agree Oreos are yummy.  But the real deal is right here.  Right here folks.  We’re going to get our hands dirty (not very dirty) and make Oreos from scratch.  They’re pretty, they’re tasty (dare I say better than store-bought?), and they’re easy.  Yes, you have to make the cookies, then the filling, then put the sandwiches together.  But I promise it won’t be difficult.  Don’t you trust me yet?

I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook for Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookies.  The only change in ingredients I made was to add a little almond extract to the dough – why I did this I have no idea.  Oreos don’t taste like almonds, not even a little bit.  Buuuut they’re tasty, so it couldn’t have been that poor of a decision.  I also didn’t roll out the dough.  There’s one simple reason for this: laziness.  My method of chilling and scooping and smushing and chilling worked pretty well though I think.  If you want to roll out the dough, just roll it out (after chilling) to about 1/4″ thickness, and use a small round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies.  You should probably re-chill the rounds before baking again.

I added a little red food coloring to the filling to make these pink for Valentine’s.  Bummer that you can’t really tell in the pictures.  They’d obvs be just as adorable with white filling…or if you’re making these for some other occasion, you can dye the filling any color.  I kind of wish the filling had been a little stiffer…pretty sure you could achieve this by gradually adding more powdered sugar until you reached the right consistency.  But I had to go to work, so I just followed the directions.

Homemade Oreos

Makes about 20 assembled sandwich cookies

Ingredients:
For cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 TBS natural cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (=1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
For filling
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar (or more for a stiffer consistency)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 drops red food coloring or gel dye of choice (optional)
pinch of salt

Directions:
1.  For cookies – In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat to combine.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
2.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate dough until well-chilled, about an hour.
3.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop dough by 1/2 TBS and roll each scoop into a small ball.  Place on cookie sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart, and press lightly to flatten.  Freeze rounds on sheets until firm, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.
4.  Bake cookies about 11-13 minutes, switching and rotating pans halfway through.  Cookies should be cracked on top and feel firm when pressed when they’re done.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5.  For filling – Meanwhile, prepare filling.  Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat filling on medium-high speed until fluffy and light, about 4 minutes.  Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.  Let soften at room temperature before using.
6.  To assemble cookies, spread 1 TBS-ish of filling on one cookie using an offset spatula, and press another cookie lightly on top to adhere.  You could also fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe it onto the cookies.  I just wasn’t feeling the whole pastry bag scene at 11pm after work.  Assembled cookies will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Speaking of Martha, have you heard about her 2012 cupcake calendar?!?!?  Apparently it won’t be available until August, but you can pre-order it now.  I have never in my life pre-ordered something 6 months in advance, except for possibly a Harry Potter book or two.  But I’m definitely considering it for this calendar.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the recipe!  Happy baking!

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