Oreos from Scratch

OreosThis recipe came out in April 2009’s Everyday Food, though I’ve altered the filling slightly. In the past, I’ve had “homemade oreos,” which are usually made from a cake mix and actually have very little resemblance to the store cookie, despite the name. This recipe, on the other hand, I would actually say create a cookie with a comparable texture to the store bought one, and a superior flavor. They take a little more time than drop cookies, but they are a huge hit, and are actually really fun to make. My kids like to use small cookie cutters (like pie decorating ones) in order to make small sandwich cookies, which are also delightful.

Oreos from Scratch

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. Dutch-process cocoa powder*
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
5 T. unsalted butter, melted
2/3 c. packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
Cream Filling (recipe below)

Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and set aside. In another bowl, combine the butter, sugar and egg. Add dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms. Divide the dough into two, and roll in between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4″ thick (this step is crucial. I’ve tried not using parchment paper before, and it makes a big mess, and is hard to deal with. Using the paper is cleaner and makes the cookies turn out much nicer. Definitely worth the expense. And, sadly, wax paper is not the same thing. I’ve tried to substitute it many times, and I always regret it). Stack the two rolled-out-doughs on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment (I tear off one side from the refrigerated dough and place it on the sheet–reduce, reuse, recycle!). Remove one sheet of dough from the fridge and cut out with a 2″ round cookie cutter. (Use smaller cutters to get in between the rounds, or reroll dough. It will hold up to one more rolling between parchment paper before it needs rechilling.) Place rounds on sheets 1″ apart (they don’t grow) and repeat with other sheet of dough. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. The cookies will be firm and fragrant.

Remove cookies immediately to a rack and let cool. While cooling, make the filling:

With a mixer, combine:
4 T. (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
pinch salt
2 t. vanilla extract {or a couple of drops mint oil (candy-making oils) or 2 t. mint extract, for Mint Oreos–my favorite}

The dough will be stiff. When cookies have cooled, pair them up, bottoms together, spreading the filling on one side and sandwiching. The filling is stiff, and hard for my kids to work with, so it’s almost easier to let them use fingers for this, if you’re comfortable with that sort of thing. . . .

Enjoy!

*Dutch-process cocoa powder is not the same as Hershey’s cocoa powder, and because they are alkalized differently, will not yield the same results. Dutch-process can be found at specialty stores and online–if you see it at a regular grocery store, let us know!

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