There are some things in this world so evocative of our childhood experiences, that the thought of reproducing them seems impossible - sacrilegious, even. Among those iconic symbols, the beloved Oreo has got to be on the top 10 list of things we remember when we think back to our carefree days..."Oh, the kid'll eat the middle of an Oreo first and save the chocolate cookie outside for last..." Sing it with me now...That was some brilliant advertising, was it not?
flour, by Joanne Chang. The day I got it, I read the whole thing, and bookmarked her recipe for Homemade Oreos. The recipe takes some time as several steps are involved, so should the kid in you decide to make it, leave yourself plenty of time. Indeed, since we are once again trapped in the house due to snow, sleet, ice and more snow, I decided to give this recipe a try.
The cookies are much better than the original Oreo - crunchy like the Famous Chocolate Wafers (in the yellow box), and the filling is SO much better than the lard 'n sugar filling we ate with abandon as children (ignorance is bliss is all can say about scoffing down pounds of Crisco). Make these for yourself, your family or your friends and I promise that you'll regress in the best possible way. Be sure to pour yourself a big glass of cold milk, then close your eyes as you take your first bite...sweetness is your weakness.
Homemade Oreos (Completly UNADAPTED from Joanne Chang's, flour)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips,
melted and slightly cooled
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Vanilla Cream Filling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. milk
Pinch of kosher salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate. Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. The dough will start to seem too floury, and you will find it easiest to switch to mixing with your hands until it comes together. It will have the consistency of Play-Doh. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about one hour to firm up.
Transfer the dough to a 15 inch square sheet of parchment of waxed paper.using your hands, shape the dough into a rough log about 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. place the log at the edge of the sheet of parchment paper, and roll the parchment around the log. With the log fully encased in parchment, roll it into a smoother log, keeping it at 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. The log may settle a bit in the fridge, so reroll it every 15 minutes or so to maintain a nice round log.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 325F. Butter a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Cut the dough log into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place the slices about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Check them frequently after 16 or 17 minutes, poking them in the middle. As soon as they feel firm to the touch, remove them from the oven. You can't judge by color because they start out black. Let cool on the baking sheet to warm or room temperature.
While the cookies are cooling, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until completely smooth and soft. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until the mixture is perfectly smooth. It will look like white spackle and feel about the same - like putty. You can also mix this filling by hand. Make sure the butter is very soft, and use your hands to mix and knead the sugar into the butter. You should have about 1 cup.
Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with a second cookie, bottom side down, the press the cookies together to spread the filling toward the edges. Repeat until all the cookies are filled.