This week’s post is part of the continuing saga of the cookie competition I entered last weekend. At this point the competition is over, but I’m not going to ruin the surprise and tell you what happened yet. But if you follow along for the next couple weeks you’ll get to hear the whole story.
As you might remember, last week I made peppermint cream squares. I liked them, but I didn’t think they were the right choice for the competition. I decided to take the peppermint from that recipe and use it with something else. The something else I decided on was chocolate sandwich cookies. I found this recipe for homemade Oreos on smitten kitchen. (Fun fact: Oreos were made as a copy of Hydrox cookies.) I decided to make them once using the recipe as given to make sure they were how I wanted them to be before adding the peppermint.
In order to make the recipe, I had to get shortening. I’ve never used shortening before. I have negative connotations with it because of trans fats, but now there are trans fat-free shortenings. In fact, I found shortening that’s trans fat-free and organic at the local health food store. (It was mentioned in the comments of the recipe.)
There was a range of sugar to use in making the cookies, and I decided to use the maximum amount. I decided to use my lovely, trusty KitchenAid. I measured the dry ingredients right in the mixing bowl using my scale. I mixed up those ingredients by hand. I added the wet ingredients and let the KitchenAid do its thing. It was very easy to put together. It was very easy to cleanup.
To measure out the cookies, I used a rounded teaspoon as suggested. In retrospect, it makes sense. A rounded teaspoon is a ball and when flattened becomes a circle, which is exactly what you’re looking for. It’s easy, and you don’t have to use a cookie cutter or roll the dough into a log.
Since it made many sheets of cookies, I did one at a time. As soon as I got one sheet ready, I put it in. By the time it was ready to rotate the first sheet for even baking, I generally had a second sheet ready to go in. I kept up this rotation through them all. I ended up with 53 cookies, enough for 26 sandwiches and one lonely cookie leftover. (It wasn’t lonely for long.) It was so many cookies that I had to be creative with finding places to cool them all. As you might remember, I have a small kitchen.
I cleaned out the KitchenAid bowl and paddle attachment and reused them for making the filling. I did not sift the powdered sugar. I just added the ingredients and let the KitchenAid do its work. I alternated between sugar and vanilla until it was all mixed in. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I love this mixer.
I don’t have pastry bags or tips (although as often as I could use them, I might have to start getting some). I used ye old plastic bag with a corner cut off. At first I thought it might not be enough filling, as it didn’t look like a lot. So I was skimpy on filling the first few cookies. It turned out to be enough. (I shouldn’t have doubted.) I went back to the first few cookies and added more filling.
They’re really good. They taste much better than Oreos do. Oreos are fine, but those cookies are nothing compared to these. These cookies are fuller and richer, and the filling is nice and tasty with a slight vanilla flavor. They’re all slightly uneven, so they don’t look all “cookie-cutter”. They look more old-fashioned and homemade.
People loved them. They said they were “better than Oreos”. They also said things like, “WOW, these are so good!” A couple of people asked me if I had just scooped the filling out of actual Oreos.
I knew I was making a version of Oreos, and I know that they are not soft cookies. But from the pictures with the recipe, for some reason in the back of my mind I thought they were going to be softer. They’re not soft. They definitely have a little bit more give than Oreos, but they’re nice crisp cookies.
So they turned out as well I wanted them to. Tasty, fun, easy, and easy to scale up. The next step is modifying them to be what I need for the contest. Stay tuned for the next installment of the continuing saga! And in the meantime, I’d love to hear if you have any reinterpretations of classic desserts. Till then!
Recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen.