In the weeks leading up to my China trip, Jesse dropped several hints about bringing along some home-baked goodies. There was no question what his number one choice was, chocolate chip cookies. But other than that he left it pretty open saying he just wanted a few things that I made. Oreos have long been a favorite of his, so when I re-stumbled upon an old bookmark for homemade oreos I knew it was meant to be.
So, 2 days before I left the baking began and the results was just as good as I had hoped it would be. To be perfectly honest, if you took a bite of this cookie and then a bite of a real Oreo, I don’t think you would be fooled into thinking they are the same cookie. The homemade version is softer and chewier than the store bought, but in my book that makes them even better. Besides, I think for a lot of people the filling is really what the Oreo is all about, and this filling is pretty spot on. I filled mine the “double stuffed” way because, let’s face, go big or go home and I haven’t bought a bag of regular Oreos since being introduced to the double stuffed variety.
I tried a few different ways of packing the Oreos but I was afraid to lose any of that delicious filling and God forbid the beautiful cookies get smooshed! Finally, I decided that Oreo had the right idea storing the cookie in a “sleeve”. I had an empty plastic wrap box and once I lined it with Parchment paper it was PERFECT for storing and transporting the cookies. All cookies made it to China in one piece and were thoroughly enjoyed by Jesse (and me!).
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
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**
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) butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*I’ve heard of people using Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder with success. I used a Ghiradelli powder that said it was processed with alkali (which is what Dutch process cocoa is) even though it doesn’t directly say Dutch processed on the container.
**At the recommendation of Deb’s post, I used 1 cup of sugar, for a slightly less sweet cookie since I was going to be using the filling (more like the original Oreo), use the greater amount (1 1/2 cups) if you want a sweeter cookie (less like the real deal Oreo) or if you do not plan to fill them.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In the bowl a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While the mixer is running, on low-speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together.
Drop rounded teaspoons of dough two inches apart on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of measuring cup, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
To make the filling, beat together the butter and shortening in a medium bowl. Then, starting 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. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with large round tip. (This is a case when a Ziplog bag with the tip cut off would work just fine!!)
To assemble the cookies, start by matching the cookies up by size (doing this before you start filling makes the process go much smoother), placing one cookie bottom side up on top of its match. For “regular stuffed” Oreos, swirl approximately 1 tsp of filling on to each cookie. For “double stuffed”, swirl approximately 1 Tbsp of filling on to each (yes, I realize that mathematically a tablespoon would technically be triple stuffed). Place the matching cookie on top and gently press into a sandwich.