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Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Oreos

I'm still here. But I've been away from my computer. We've had beautiful, gorgeous weather here in Seattle. I think I understand now why people live here! It might suck in the winter but my goodness, I've really begun to appreciate the scenery. It's mesmerizing. And because so many people have told me about the dreary, cloudy, sludgy winters, I think that subconsciously I've been forcing myself to spend every waking second outside to bask in as much sunshine as possible. I obviously don't know what to expect in winter. But I'm bracing for the absolute worst nightmare possible. But I must admit that I'm quite exhausted from all of this outdoorsy'ness. Morning coffee walks. Mid-morning jogs. Lunchtime hikes. Mid-afternoon kayaking. Late afternoon running or cycling. Pre-dinner rollerblading. After dinner strolls to watch the sunset. I'm friggin' tired! But I love this sunshine so I'm just going to live outside until it hibernates and my seasonal affective disorder hightails to full swing.

Fortunately, running seems to cure my S.A.D. pretty quickly. It was hard to overcome in the MN winters because we'd go months without seeing grass! Sure, the crisp air, blue skies and gleaming sunshine were amazing, but the cold and bitter temperatures often kept me indoors on the treadmill. I did enjoy a nice run in the freshly fallen snow but I would have such a difficult time regulating my body temperature in negative degree weather! I don't think I'll miss the days where I waited until the temperature hit at least zero degrees before heading out. I'm very much looking forward to Seattle winter weather for running. I've been running a lot lately. It's amazing how much I've missed it. I've reacquainted with my love of the sport. The weather is ideal for running year-round and it's where I thrive. So perhaps I'll set up personal records!

My last semester of law school is about to begin and I just don't know what to think about this. It's been an extraordinary three years on so many levels. It's somewhat anti-climatic that my last semester of law school is going to be spent alone, all independent work, all managed by me. But so have it. We're just rollin' with the punches over here. To celebrate, I decided to try my hand at making a classic at home.
I've been wanting to make some oreos for a while. These were so yummy. Mine turned out a little bit bigger than they should have been (clearly my small cookie scoop is actually quite bigger than a teaspoon) but they were just delish! We enjoyed these, dunked in milk, for a few days. And they do taste very, very similar (especially the cream) compared to the store-bought kind. But the added perk is that the ingredients below are much more satisfying to read than the ingredients in an actual oreo.

Homemade Oreos
from Sunny Side up in San Diego
For the Chocolate Wafers
  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (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 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand 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.
  3. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. 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 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
  5. To assemble: match the cookies up by size and lay one cookie bottom size up. For "regular stuffed" oreos, swirl ~1 tsp of filling on to each cookie. For "double stuffed" oreos, swirl ~2-3 tsp of filling on to each cookie. Place the matching cookie on top and gently press into a sandwich.

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