Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oreos: Make Them Yourself!

photo by Anthony Palatta

I've been staring hungrily at this recipe from Martha's Everyday Food Magazine for a while: homemade Oreos! Though she calls them Chocolate 'n' Cream Sandwich Cookies, we know just which sandwich cookies she's referring to.

Martha seems to be a fan of sandwich cookies. They're regularly featured in her magazines and she has several recipes for them in her Baking Handbook, which I treasure. Before I made this recipe, I thought I'd compare the Everyday Food version with a similar cookie sandwich from the Handbook. The one difference that struck me as important was that in the Handbook, she added a teaspoon of vanilla to the cookie dough. I decided to add that to my recipe as well.

The dough for the cookies is extremely tacky and has to be chilled before you can cut it. I used a flower-shaped cookie cutter that was slightly smaller than the one in the recipe, and so I had a higher yield of cookies (24 sandwiches instead of 15, as promised by the recipe). I also experimented with sprinkling the cookies with sugar, definitely a good move, as the cookies are intensely chocolatey, but not very sweet, like a chocolate wafer. In my next attempt, I might also go half and half with light brown and white sugar, rather than all light brown sugar, to sweeten the cookies up a bit.

When blending the filling as directed in the recipe, I ended up with a bowl full of butter crumbs. However, when I pressed it together with my hands, it came together easily. The texture turned out to be more of a paste than a cream, like Play-doh. Luckily, it tasted nothing like Play-doh! In fact, a friend of mine, after sampling the result, told me, "Like an Oreo, but much, much better..."

An apt description. This recipe's a keeper.

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