One of Mack’s all-time favorite treats does not come from my kitchen. Whenever we take a road trip or flight, the kids get to pick out special treats, and Mack always chooses Oreos. Can’t say I’m surprised: Oreo cookies are delicious. And, a recent study compared the overall addictiveness of Oreo cookies to cocaine.
But, we don’t have room in our budget, pantry or bodies for highly processed junk food. No one can stop at just one, and I’ve always said that if we want a special treat we should take the time to make it ourselves. When Mack requested Oreo cookies for an after-lunch snack the other day, I wanted to oblige him because he has been a good boy lately. So, we made some from scratch. It was a fun way to spend time together, and even little Vivian joined in on the fun!
I found a tasty looking recipe for homemade Oreo cookies on Smitten Kitchen. Mack and I followed it exactly, but instead of using vegetable shortening in the filling (trans fats – yuck!) we just used an equal amount of butter instead. Turned out great, and Mack hasn’t asked for store-bought Oreos since!
Homemade Oreo Cookies (from Smitten Kitchen)
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
Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
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.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands (we used the bottom of a glass), slightly flatten the dough.
Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
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.
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.
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