Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Oreos

This has got to be one of my most favorite desserts of all time - and one of the easiest too!

I remember being 10 years old - sitting in a classroom in my green dress - and my teacher walked in carrying these . . . .

Oreos. And not just any oreos, but homemade oreos and they were still warm! I tell you, little chocoholic me was in heaven.

Being that I'm a big girl now, I have grown-up tastes, so I've changed these up just a wee bit.

Have you ever noticed how much vanilla you go through? Let's face it, I buy mine in bulk at Costco, because they sell the real stuff {ie. vanilla extract, NOT vanilla flavoring} and it's way cheaper than buying the real stuff at the grocery store and I seem to go through it faster than the county fair. I love vanilla. It's the head honcho of flavorings. We live in a vanilla flavored world. Vanilla flavored cookies, vanilla flavored cakes, vanilla flavored ice cream . . .{I covered the basic food groups, right?} So, in essence, vanilla has just become . . . dare i say . . . blah? No, not blah. but it almost has no 'flavor' simply because that's what our palette is used to. BUT, what if we changed that? I'm not saying nix the vanilla out of your pantry all-together, but for this recipe, I highly recommend that you do. Oreo's have cream filling. Instead of using vanilla extract, I use almond. I swear you'll have a Ratatouille moment. The notes of almond flavored cream cheese filling with a softened chocolate cookie will make your palette do a happy dance. Trust me. But before you go running to your local grocery store to grab some, let me give you a hint - DON'T. Just like getting ripped off with vanilla extract at the grocery store, you will also get ripped off with almond extract. Let me save you a few bucks {literally} and direct you to the cake decorating aisle of your local craft store. There, amongst all the colorings and flavorings, you will find a cute little bottle of clear almond extract for a measly $2 (as opposed $8 at the grocery) and it smells like heaven.{ok, ok, I'll get off my soap box now}

I seriously can't get enough of these. They're so easy to whip up and then . . . suddenly . . . a little mouse finds its way into your kitchen and they're GONE . *sniff* {ok, fine . . . i ate them}

So I crafted up an ingenious solution. Less is more! {wait, what? Less chocolate is not more chocolate. I know. Let me explain} Instead of making 1-1/2-inch balls of dough like the recipe calls for, I pull out my my trusty mini cookie scoop!
{photo from pampered chef}

It's actually probably meant for truffle balls or something, but seriously, who doesn't like mini cookies? I found my baby scooper at Gygi's (they don't sell it online - sorry), but I believe that Pampered Chef sells them too. Now, instead of like 2 dozen oreos {totally not enough}, we have tons and tons more! Alright, maybe not tons, but it seems to make them last longer . . . or maybe it just helps you justify eating two instead of one. haha. Ü Either way . . . More cookies!

Using your scoop, dish out your cookies onto a large cookie sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes. Once the cookies are cool, frost them up! Don't forget that these babies need to be refrigerated. I've found that after they've sat in a tupperware in the fridge for a few hours, the cookies get super soft and perfectly chewy - so, while patience is difficult, it is a also a virtue. Ü

You can also dress up your cookies if you think they're feeling a little naked - Color the frosting; dip them in {more} chocolate; roll them in nuts; dip them in chocolate AND roll them in nuts Ü . . . you get the picture. ENJOY!

Homemade Oreos

2 (18.25 ounce) packages devil's food cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients together and scoop 3/4-inch rolls of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool.

Once cool, put a generous helping of cream cheese frosting between two cookies - bottom sides together.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring (optional)
chopped almonds (optional)

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar. 

Store cookies in a tupperware in the refrigerator.

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