Sunday, April 15, 2012

Faux-reo... the Homemade Oreo

Who doesn't love an Oreo cookie? Seriously. It's a super chocolatey cookie with a sweet and fatty tasting cream in the center. There are plenty of ways to eat them; my favorite being to take it apart, eat the cookie half first, scrape off and eat the icing and then eat the other half of the cookie. However you choose to eat them, they're absolutely delicious, but also pretty expensive for a pack of cookies. So, when I came across this recipe on my Pinterest adventures, I knew that I had to try it!

I noticed that the recipe was in weights instead of measurements. I believe it was Alton Brown who said that baking is better done in weight, as it is more precise for the process. So I took this opportunity to go out and get the kitchen scale that I had been longing to buy, but putting off because it was unnecessary. (yes, cookies made it necessary). It was only $30 bucks, so it wasn't like I was spending an absurd amount of money on something I didn't need. And we've used it for other things as well, such as burgers and chicken.

Anywho... After purchasing my scale, I headed home and the next day, I put Emily in her carseat, propped her in the kitchen and we set off to make these cookies. I gave her a plastic "wooden" spoon to play with and she helped to keep me entertained while I worked. The dough came together rather quickly, even with the use of my hand mixer. (I'm still hoping for that stand mixer for Christmas.. hint hint ;)  )... It rolled out rather nicely, though did require a good bit of flour for anti-sticking issues. They bake up nicely, and don't spread as they cook, so I was able to make all of them in one shot! While they were baking, I started on the icing. They say you can use butter, but I wholeheartedly recommend shortening for that authentic mouth feel and for less melting when storing them at room temperature.

I know by now you're ready for the recipe, so here it is...

3oz butter, room temp
3.75oz white sugar
1.5oz brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4tsp + 1/8tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1 1/2tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
4oz flour
3oz cocoa powder
1tsp instant coffee powder

Cream Filling:
2oz shortening, room temp
5oz powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/8tsp salt

Cookies: Cream together the butter and both sugars using a mixer. Add the baking powder, soda, vanilla and egg yolks. Mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the flour, cocoa and instant coffee all at once, mix. Dough will get very stiff! When this occurs, knead into a smooth ball. Roll out about 1/8" thick (they suggest using cocoa powder for color, but I used flour since cocoa is so much more expensive and the color didn't change). Cut into desired size. I used a small glass, and they came out rather large. I think a shot glass would be perfect and will try it next time I make these. You can also use cookie cutters or anything you want shape/size wise. If you want to decorate your cookies like the oreos, after you place them on their ungreased cookie sheets, take the scraps of dough that are leftover, add hot water gradually to form a paste, then pipe it onto your cookies in whatever squiggley pattern you want. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Let them cool completely.

Meanwhile, cream the shortening and powdered sugar together for the cream filling. Add vanilla and salt. Whip this mixture for a good 5 minutes or more. The more you mix, the more it aerates, the smoother and less gritty it will be. Once cookies are cool, pipe or spoon filling onto half the cookies. Top cookie, pressing from the center outward to evenly spread the filling. Place in an air tight container and refrigerate for about an hour to set the filling. After the hour,  you can store them at room temperature.

A few hints/tips/warnings...
1) the measurements may seem small, but you'd be amazed how light flour and cocoa powder really are. I think the cocoa powder came out to be around a 1/2 cup, so make sure you have a good bit. I just had enough left in my container to make them!
2) if your dough gets too sticky, you can chill it for about a half an hour, then let it come back to room temp before rolling. If you want, you can also wrap and chill it for up to a week before using. Always let it come back to room temp before rolling though.
3) I was wary of getting a coffee flavor (one I absolutely hate) in the cookies, but there was none. It helps them to taste fairly authentic.

Overall, this was a wonderful recipe that I will be making again and again. For pictures and the original site (as I like to give credit where credit is due), click here.

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