Homemade Oreos

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Unlike most people, the best part of an oreo for me is the chocolate cookie, hands down. The best way to eat an oreo?  Twist it apart, scrape off the cream, dunk the cookie in milk and eat.

What I like about the cookie part is that the chocolate flavor is nice and dark, and not very sweet.  Likewise, this giant homemade version is surprisingly dark and rich (I’m going to switch out semisweet chocolate for bittersweet for even more chocolatey goodness next time though :).  And for someone who doesn’t care for the cream in the commercial version, the homemade cream isn’t half bad – great flavor and texture (nice and fluffy), just a bit sweet for my salty tooth.  I made half with regular cream filling, and half with peanut butter cream filling.  While the regular filling was pretty good, the peanut butter cream filling was delicious (I cut even more of the sugar in this version).

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HOMEMADE OREOS
Adapted from Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery
Yields approximately 16-18 cookies

Ingredients
For the cookie

1 c. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 c. AP flour
3/4 c. dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt 
1/2 tsp baking soda

For the vanilla cream filling
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp. milk
small pinch of fine sea salt (use a little more for regular salt)

For the peanut butter cream filling
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 – scant 1/3 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
small pinch of fine sea salt (use a little more for regular salt)

Directions
Make the cookies
1.  Whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined.
2.  Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate.
3.  Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly combined.
4.  In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Whisk to mix well.
5.  Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.  My mixture initially resembled brownie batter, but your mixture may seem quite thick, and you may have to mix with your hands.
6.  Let the dough sit at RT x ~1 hour to firm up.  (My dough began like brownie batter, but firmed up to be quite solid by the end of the hour).
7.  Transfer the dough to a 15-inch square sheet of parchment paper.  Shape the dough in a log ~10 inches long x 2.5 inches in diameter.  Roll the parchment paper around the log.
8.  Refrigerate until firm (~2 hours).  Check on the log during this time, and re-roll/reshape if needed to maintain a nice round log.  At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
9.  Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
10.  Cut the log into 1/4-inch thick slices.

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11.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are firm to the touch (start checking ~16-18 minutes).
12.  Cool the cookies to at least slightly warm before filling.

Make the cream filling
1.  Beat the butter until completely smooth and soft (~30 seconds with paddle attachment of stand mixer, low speed)
2.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until perfectly smooth.
3.  Add the milk and salt and beat until smooth again.  Mixture will look and feel like spackle.
4.  Filling can be stored at RT for up to 2 days, or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
5.  Up to 1 rounded Tbsp of filling can be used to fill each cookie.  Place filling on center of bottom cookie.  Top with a second cookie and press down to spread the filling.

Make the peanut butter cream filling:
1.  Beat the butter till completely smooth.
2.  Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
3.  Add the peanut butter and salt and beat until smooth.

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