Sunday, January 30, 2011

Homemade Oreos

Are you a twister, or a dunker?

Homemade Oreos
for the chocolate wafers:

  • 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C plus 2 Tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
for the filling:

  • 1/4 C (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 C all vegetable shortening (the white kind, not butter flavored)
  • 2 C sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a food processor or bowl of electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. While pulsing or on low speed, add the butter and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until the dough comes together in a mass.
2. Preheat oven to 375. Take rounded teaspoons of batter, roll into a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and flatten each ball slightly. Bake for 9 minutes. Either place baking sheets on a wire rack to cool, or slide the parchment off the baking sheet and onto the rack to cool, being careful not to disturb the cookies until they have cooled.
3. To make the filling, place the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl. Cream together. At low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes or until filling is light and fluffy.
4. To assemble the cookies, fit a pastry bag with a 1/2 round tip and pipe a teaspoon-sized blob of cream onto half of the cookies (flip over so the flat bottom is facing up). Place another cookie relatively equal in size on top and press lightly to work the filling to the edges. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!

I've seen recipes for homemade Oreos several times, and all the recipes are pretty much the same, but I used the one from My Baking Addiction.

In case your not familiar with it, Dutch process, or alkalized cocoa has been treated to soften the cocoa flavor a little bit, which can sometimes come across tasting a little bitter. My unrefined palate had never noticed that before, so you'll probably be fine using regular cocoa powder. I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, which is a combination of Dutch process and regular cocoa. I think the Dutch process portion must be black cocoa, which is cocoa that has been very alkalized, producing a very dark, nearly black color. I chose My Baking Addiction's recipe because she used the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, which produces a much nicer looking chocolate wafer. They are very dark, nearly black and look more like a real Oreo. All the other recipes I've seen were definitely brown. While I'm sure they still tasted good, they just didn't look as good.

As far as the sugar goes for the wafer, you can use anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 C. Because the cream filling is quite sweet, I used 1 C of sugar in the cookie. The cookie part of an Oreo really isn't very sweet. If you really have a sweet tooth or are using the wafer for another use, go ahead and add that half cup of sugar back in.

This chocolate wafer recipe is a good one to keep around. Get creative with them. Make ice cream sandwiches, keep some on hand to crush and use as a crust for cheesecake, crumble them for an ice cream topping. And think of the things you can do with the filling. Mint Oreos, anyone? You could easily use a little gel food coloring to dye the centers pink for Valentine's day, or pastel colors for Easter, green for St. Patrick's day... You get the idea. I used clear vanilla extract to keep the filling a nice pure white, but regular vanilla extract would be fine.

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