That's the question asked by many of my friends when I told them what I'd be serving at the apartment-warming party this past weekend.
"Homemade Oreos? Why don't you just buy Oreos?"
"Pfffffff. Because these are waaaaaay better. You'll see."
"But you have to make them when you can just buy them."
"I like making things! And you like when I make things."
"Yeah, but you could also buy them. I like store-bought Oreos, too."
"But you'll like these more. Trust me."
This was one of the first recipes I made out of my new baking encyclopedia a few years ago. I baked them and fell head over heels in love with them. I couldn't stop talking about them. Homemade chocolate sandwich cookies! With the most delicious sweet creamy filling this universe has ever known! I've often just stared at the page when using the book for other recipes. I'm weird like that.
And after that first glorious meeting, I haven't made them since. The tragedy! The deprivation! You see, that's the sort of problem that arises when one loves to bake. On any given day, I've printed or bookmarked at least one recipe. That's, at minimum, 7 new recipes to distract me every week. Plus, there's the predictably unpredictable kitchen brainstorming... I'm really my own
All other recipes forgotten (momentarily), I was reunited with my long lost love on Friday night. And some extra cream filling. At 10:30 at night. Because that's what adults do, right? Right.
These were the perfect cookie to make for a house-warming party. What says comfortable and homey more than homemade chocolate sandwich cookies? Everyone loves them! And that means you're guaranteed an apartment full of very happy people. Give people cookies and they'll smile. It's practically scientific law.
As guests appeared, the cookies quickly disappeared. Nothing makes a hostess happier than seeing her serving platters and trays empty by the end of the evening! Though hearing things like "Oh my gosh, those cookies are amazing!" and "Okay, those are so much better than regular Oreos" don't hurt either :)
The sweet chocolate-y cookies had so much more flavor than their commercial cousins. And the filling could make cardboard seem appetizing. As guests appeared, the cookies quickly disappeared. Nothing makes a hostess happier than seeing her serving platters and trays empty by the end of the evening! Though hearing things like "Oh my gosh, those cookies are amazing!" and "Okay, those are so much better than regular Oreos" don't hurt either :)
One Year Ago: Fish tacos
Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Cream Filling
(adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)
-makes about 24 sandwich cookies
A few notes: When first filled, the cookies are crisp and the filling is fluffy and oozes out of the sandwich when bitten into. However, I recommend doing this: assemble the sandwiches and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight. Remove and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Also, be generous with the cream filling or you'll have some left... but maybe you want that. If so, I won't tell.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and beat to combine.
Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and divide in half. With floured hands, shape each piece into a flattened rectangle. Wrap each half with plastic and refrigerate (I placed dough in the freezer to achieve a firmer dough for rolling; I recommend this) until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness, stopping every so often to release the dough by running an offset spatula underneath. Working quickly cut out rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. If the dough softens too much, return to the freezer for a few minutes. Transfer rounds to parchment lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Gather scraps, reroll and cut out more rounds. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies until the centers feel firm when lightly pressed, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make vanilla cream filling...
Vanilla Cream Filling
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, combine the butter and shortening and beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and thoroughly mixed. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low, at first, until sugar is mixed, then increase speed to medium-high until until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. (If refrigerating, allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before spreading onto cookies.)
Filled cookies will keep, refrigerated and in a container, for up to one week.