Recipes call out to me for different reasons. Some have nothing but ingredients that I love. Some remind me of wonderful food I ate once. And sometimes, I see a recipe and I have to make it, just to prove that I can. And that's how it was with this Smitten Kitchen recipe: Homemade Oreos.
I like oreos as much as the next person, but they've never been a particular favorite of mine. I don't really have childhood memories of eating them much (the only store bought cookies I remember eating as a kid at home were Pepperidge Farm Milanos....yum), nor am I really into cookies that are filled with hydrogenated oils. But when I saw the opportunity to make oreos (from scratch! at home!), well that just spoke to the crazy part of my brain and I had to do it.
Smitten Kitchen's Homemade Oreos
For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar (use 1 cup of sugar for a more authentic less sweet oreo cookie - use more if you want)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Set two racks in the middle of the oven (this is already how the racks in my oven are! I love it when I don't have to do anything). 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.
This took way longer than I thought it would. I initially thought, hey, I must have fucked this up! Darn it! The oreos are triumphant and I am a loser. But then I just let it run for a minute while I went to the other room to kick something and when I came back, it looks like cookie dough. Bliss.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart (you really want to keep it to a teaspoon, other wise the cookies get too big and it's weird and not very oreo-like). With your hands (I love recipes where you have to use your hands to touch food), roll the dough into a little all and then smush it with the palm of your hand.
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 (as you can see, I used a wooden spoon. I am super old school).
To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip (do you have a pastry bag? I sure don't, but I have a ziploc bag that I cut a hole in the corner of), 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 are oreo sandwich cookies!
I wish I could say I would share these with you, except that Zack ate them all (except for the six I saved for Asha). They tasted remarkably like oreos (Zack said they were better than oreos, but he's my husband and can't quite be trusted on these matters). Asha liked them too though.
Make these! Then you too can say "I can make oreos at home! Bow down to me Nabisco, for I am the Queen of everything." It's a good feeling.