February 1, 2012 § 6 Comments
“Dainty, where have you been?”
Well, I um … I’ve been around.
“Around? I haven’t heard from you in ages. What’s up? I mean, is something wrong? We’ve been kinda worried. Is it us? Did we do something? Or not do something?”
What? No! No no no. I’ve just been … well, remember when I said I wanted to read more? I’ve been reading. Every morning for an hour. And that was usually the time I hung around here.
“Oh. Well, what about switching it up to some other time?”
Yeah, about that … I’ve also gotten really into yoga. Like, every day or as much as I can. It’s exactly the thing I’ve been missing in my life and I love it. Time’s tight …
“No kidding. Well, what about that – yoga. Good for you. So … you’re here again … ”
I am. Absolutely. Here again. With some changes in the works over the next month or so. I know … I know, I teased y’all about that before. “Major stuff in the works!” But this time the ball is rolling – actually rolling – and there will definitely be bigger and better Dainty stuff to interest everyone in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, let’s talk homemade oreo cookies. It could be the most awesome childhood-memory-inducing cookie ever. That’s to Joanne Chang at Flour Bakery in Boston … literally at the end of my block … adults now have a decadent deep-chocolately lustful version to dream about. Seriously good stuff.
Now, with food blogging, printed cookbook recipes are shared all the time. And I really don’t like publicly posting recipes from bakeries in my neighborhood or who I kinda/sorta have a connection with. They gotta make money, right? How can they do that if their recipes are out in Googlespace?
BUT … I’ve made Flour’s version of oreos—and with several different additions—for several events now and I keep getting requests for the recipe. I owe it to my peeps to share. So, Joanne, please do forgive me for what I’m about to reveal.
A note before I get started: I make a Christmas version of these with 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract in the cream filling. And for my most recent batch—whose cream filling was made in an ice bucket in a hotel room in Louisville (no kidding)—I omitted the milk and added a full shot of bourbon. And believe me, the chocolate pairs really well with bourbon.
So, with full credit going to Joanne and her sheer brilliant baking skills, here’s the recipe.
Homemade Oreos ala Flour Bakery
Chocolate Cookie Ingredients and Recipe
- 1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 200 g semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled a bit
- 1 egg
- 210 g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 90 g Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt (kosher)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend butter and sugar with the whisk attachment. Add in the vanilla and chocolate, then the egg, and mix until thoroughly combined.
2. In a different bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. With the stand mixer on slow, carefully add the mixed dry ingredients. Turn up to low-medium for a bit until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. Let the mixture sit at room temp for about an hour so it firms.
3. This is the tricky part so pay attention. Where going to take this dough and make it into long logs. And from these logs you’ll slice off individual rounds that’ll bake up into the chocolate cookies. Got it?
First, let me say that Joanne makes these logs with a diameter of about 2.5 inches. That’s a pretty big cookie—and a fine cookie size, actually. But when I bake these, I am typically taking them to a party or something, and I find that smaller bite-sized cookies are better suited for partytime. That said … once the dough is firm, I split the dough into three or four equal piles. Place one pile onto a half-sheet-sized piece of parchment paper or waxed paper. With your hands, shape it into a log of about 1 or 1.5 inches in diameter. Roll the paper around the log a bit and roll it along the counter to make it a bit smoother, trying to get the air bubbles out (you can see them through the paper). Repeat with the remaining piles of dough, and then place the rolled dough into the refrigerator for 2 hours. You might find it helpful to reroll the logs a few times during the 2 hours so keep that log shape.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 and position a rack smack-dab in the middle. Prepare a couple of half-sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove a log from the fridge and unwrap. You might want to trim off both ends of the log so they are flat. Then slice the log into 1/4-inch thick rounds. With a 1 or 1.5 inch log, you’ll end up with about 30-35 slices. Place the slices onto the parchment paper about an inch apart. I can fit one whole log’s worth of cookies onto one sheet.
5. Pop them in the oven. For Joanne’s 2.5 inch cookies, they bake about 20-25 minutes. These smaller cookies will be done in 18 minutes. They’ll just be firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then put them onto cooling racks. Chocolate cookies: Done.
Cream Filling Ingredients and Recipe
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 230 g confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk
- pinch of kosher salt
- suggested additions: 1/2 tsp peppermint extract for Mint Oreos; a shot of bourbon for Derby Oreos (omit milk)
This is awesome and easy to do while your cookies are hangin’ out and cooling.
1. Remember that stand mixer? Wash out the bowl, give it a dry, attach the paddle to the mixer and then beat the butter on low for about 30 seconds. You want it to be smooth.
2. Carefully add the confectioner’s sugar (you don’t want to make a cloud of it!) and the vanilla and beat until it’s perfectly smooth. Add the milk and salt and beat yet again until smooth. At some point the concoction will go from a butter yellow color to a whitish, and it’ll be stiff. You’re done!
Note about adding bourbon: I made two batches with bourbon. The first I included the milk and the filling was too soft. The second batch sans milk was much better. You need about a shot’s worth of liquor in order for the flavor to be apparent.
3. Now the fun part: filling. What I do is pair lay out the cookies – top side down – and match them up in pairs, hopefully getting them partnered with someone about their same size. I then put the filling into a Ziploc bag, seal it up, and push the filling down into one corner, creating a makeshift piping bag. Cut the corner, and carefully pipe out however much filling you want – about 2 tsp should do for a small cookie – onto one cookie in the pair. Top with the other and there you have it—an actually homemade oreo cookie.
Use a great-quality chocolate chip, vanilla and other flavorings and these can be orgasmic. I’ve had nothing but raves. These are truly a spectacular cookie. Thanks, Joanne!
Given the realm of possibilities here, what flavorings would you add to make these cookies your own? Leave a comment and let Dainty know.
March 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
From now on—for the rest of my life—whenever I say the word “oreo,” I am exclusively referring to the oreo as envisioned and interpreted into chocolate cookie and filling by Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery. Have one bite of the Flour Oreo and you will agree. That other … cookie … it’s a dime-a-dozen cookie. Flour’s oreo is a treat.
If there is one negative I have to nail onto Flour’s oreo, it’s that the chunk of dark chocolately heaven is too big. Is it possible? Slightly. That’s why I had the idea to make them smaller.
Last December I promised I would bring homemade oreos to a holiday party. The recipe – which is a slice-cookies-from-a-dough-log type of cookie – makes about 18 cookies. Definitely not enough for a holiday party. “Minis!” I thought. And why not add some peppermint flavoring for that added holiday pizzazz.
They were the hit of the party.
Well, Erin Go Bragh, it’s now St. Patrick’s Day. For St. Patty’s Day, you’ve got to do something green. Well, let’s add green food coloring to the oreo filling. And if the filling is going to be green, the eater of the cookie is expecting mint. Right?
Green Mint Oreos for St. Patrick’s Day. And minis, too.
Adjustments to Oreo cookie recipe ala Flour cookbook:
Dough log: After leaving dough to firm up for 1 hour, divide dough into 4 equal batches. Roll it into a 1-in. log on parchment paper, as opposed to the instructed 2.5-in log.
Mint: Add 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract. That’s enough! Seriously. All you need.
Green: Add 3-5 drops green food coloring. You can’t tell from the photo, but it’s a nice medium green.
The one thing that I would adjust next time … because the mixer really needs to beat in the food coloring, it makes the filling a bit softer than I’d like. I may decrease the addition of milk from 1 tbs to 1/2 tbs next time.