Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yo-ho! Oh-RE-O!

What IMDB says the Winkies are chanting (click here to listen):

"Audiences have claimed to hear various lyrics to the "Winkie Chant" performed by the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton)'s guards. They include "All we own, we owe her"; "Oh we love the old one"; and "Oh we loathe the old one." The screenplay shows that the correct lyrics are "O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!."

Perhaps. But I think the Winkies are chanting:

Yo-ho! Make Oh-RE-os!

Somehow it's not junk food if you make it yourself, right?  At least not according to one of my favorite new cookbooks, Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe.  Apparently people line up at the bakery for their homemade pop tarts, homemade fig newtons, and their version of the iconic chocolate sandwich cookie.  Based on the photos alone, I would join that line in a heartbeat. The chocolate cookie part is a dead ringer, taste-wise, for the outside of the Oreo, just without the embossing.  The flavor is deep, dark and very intensely chocolate, almost like a less-sweet version of a French sable.  Since you are doing your own vanilla filling, you can double (or even triple!) stuff them if you like.

Homemade Oreos
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbs. milk
pinch of salt

Allow yourself several hours for the cookies to chill in the fridge, then cool before filling.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and the sugar.  Whisk in the vanilla and the melted chocolate, then add the egg and whisk until everything is thoroughly incorporated.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture.  The dough will at first seem too dry, but keep stirring until it all comes together into a smooth mixture.  It will have the consistency of sandy, soft Play-Doh.

Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about an hour to firm up. (The melted butter will solidify, making the dough easier to shape.)

Transfer half the dough to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, about 15 inches long.  Using your hands, shape the dough into a round log, about 1 1/2" (for smaller cookies) to 2 1/2" (for monster cookies) in diameter.  Roll the log up in the paper, smoothing at the end to get your log nice and even and round. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or until firm.

If not using immediately, wrap logs in additional plastic wrap and store a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer.  Thaw frozen dough overnight before using.

Preheat the oven to 325.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

Slice the dough into 1/4 inch discs, and place at least an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.  The cookies will spread a little bit.   For smaller cookies (which I made), bake for 13 minutes.  For the larger cookies (in the original recipe) bake for 17-20 minutes.  Check the cookies a minute or so before time is up so you don't overbake.  Because the dough is so dark, check by hand.  They are done when they are firm to the touch in the middle.

Allow to cool on the baking sheets until just warm, then transfer to cooling racks for filling.

While the cookies are cooling, make the filling.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.   Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until the mixture is perfectly smooth.  Add the milk and the salt, and beat again until perfectly smooth.  It should have the consistency of putty.  The filling can be prepared ahead and stored for a day at room temperature, or 2 weeks in the fridge.

Scoop a spoonful of filling onto the bottom of one cookie.  Top with a second cookie, bottom side down, then gently press the cookies together to spread the filling toward the edges.

Repeat until all the cookies are filled.  Pour a tall glass of milk.

Shut the front door!

Click to print this recipe!

Note:  The cookbook includes a peanut butter variation for the filling:  1/4 c. butter, 1/2 c. of smooth peanut butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar.  OMG.

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