Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oreos. 'Nuff Said.

I can't contain myself......I made Oreos!  Or as Martha calls them "Cream-filled chocolate sandwiches."
Don't lick the screen.  Talking to myself again.

Oreos are one of a thousand guilty pleasures I have.  I never buy them because I don't want to spiral down a path of self-destruction.  But everything is better homemade right?  I mean, not better for you as you'll see in the recipe, but these cookies have the distinct taste of not tasting processed.  Know what I mean?

And clearly because it's a 1000º outside, baking is a good idea!  Um, not really.  I'm a glutton for punishment.  But once I get set on making something, I have to make it.  Ask Will.  He knows.

Confession:  I kinda didn't follow the directions and definitely not on purpose.  My bad.  I don't think it affected the outcome in a noticeable way, but when I make these again (and I will make these again) I'll be extra-careful to follow the instructions.  Sorry, Martha.

Yummy stuff: butter, egg, Dutch-process cocoa powder, and sugar.

A word about the cocoa powder.  It's a little on the pricey side, but it's generally not advisable to switch it out for natural cocoa powder (like Hersheys).  Dutch-process is a little different from natural cocoa powder in that it has an alkali added to it to neutralize the acidity naturally found in chocolate.  Both have their places in baking, and a recipe will generally specify Dutch-process if that's what is needed.

Not as yummy but quite necessary stuff: All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

I started by sifting together the dry ingredients.
That's the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Cocoa powder tends to lump up in the box, so sifting is a mandatory step.  It also helps distribute the baking powder and soda.

Almost there.


Butter and sugar get creamed together until they're fluffy.  Like a teddy bear.  Ok, not really like that at all.  Oh, here's oopsie #1.  There should be two more tablespoons of butter in there.  Doh.  I confused the amount of butter in the filling for the butter in the cookies.  I am...ashamed.  Remember, 1 stick plus 2 tbs of butter.  It will be my mantra next time.

Then a room temperature egg made its way into the bowl.

I added the dry ingredients in 3 additions.  I added in additions.  I'm a poetess.  But seriously, folks, I scraped down the sides between each addition just to be sure it all got incorporated.

I scooped rounded teaspoons of dough and placed them about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.

Martha and I differed in this respect.  Her instructions say to dip the bottom of a glass in sugar and gently press down on the dough to flatten it.  I just used my finger.

Baked in a 375º oven for 9 minutes, I got these...
I'm not entirely sure why some of them have crackle tops and some came out smooth.  I suspect it has something to do with the smooth ones being baked on the lower rack.  Oopsie #2- I didn't rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking.  Again, I don't think it wildly affected my cookies, but I generally don't like to ignore Martha's instructions.

Filling time!

Powdered sugar, butter, vegetable shortening, and vanilla extract.  Ignore the corn in the background.

Powdered sugar got sifted.  Holy moly.

After I combined the butter and shortening, I began adding the powdered sugar, again in stages.

When it was all combined and fluff-tastic, a tablespoon of vanilla extract.  That's a lot of vanilla.  Luckily, I lurve vanilla extract.  Hardcore.

I flipped over every other cookie so I had a top and a bottom for each sandwich.  I spread a good thick coat of icing on the bottoms.  I had a little filling left over, and I'm not inclined to waste the good stuff; so I went back around and added more filling to the ones that looked a little skinny.

A gentle squeeze made sure the tops weren't going anywhere.

Looks a little like a double-stuf, no?  Mine are a little more, um, rustic than Martha's.  Tastes just dandy anyhow.

The best way to enjoy an Oreo:  with a glass of milk.  The milk really does help cut the overall sweetness of the cookie with a reliving-your-childhood sort of satisfaction.  Just as good:  with your afternoon coffee.  As long as your coffee doesn't have sugar in it.  Because that could put you in a coma.

I also have to show you this tart I made.  Let's just say it puts the puff in puff pastry.
Hah.  The flavors were all great: Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and prosciutto.  It was just a little...unexpected.  I'll refine this before I do a post about it, but it's easy and good for a light dinner or appetizer.

This was a white blend I found at Fresh Market.  Hot to Trot.  I'm a sucker for funny names.  It was fruity but not too sweet.  Nice for a light meal.

Domesticated Oreos (makes 25-30)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c sugar
10 tbs (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

Cream Filling:
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c vegetable shortening
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 375º.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and combine.
  • Gradually add sifted ingredients on low speed.  Beat until well combined.
  • Drop rounded teaspoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  With slightly moistened fingers, gently flatten dough.  Bake until cookies are firm, about 9-11 minutes.  Let cook on wire racks.
  • While cookies cool, prepare cream filling.
  • Cream butter and shortening until combined.  Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Keep at room temperature until use.
  • When cookies have fully cooled, spread or pipe filling onto half the cookies.  Place the remaining cookies on top and gently squeeze together.  Store in airtight containers for 2-3 days.

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