Homemade Oreos… And They’re Better Than the Real Thing!!
Someone pinch me. Hard. Harder… I must be dreaming. Not only did these little cookies-from-above exceed my every expectation, but they did so even in the “slightly healthier, but not really” category. I came across the original recipe for these on Foodnetwork.com, so I can’t take credit for inventing this amazingness. However, I did add my usual tweaks and modifications to make them my own. Everybody loved them. Loved. I mean it. So try a batch. Maybe take them to a party. And then brace yourself for the ensuing barrage of super awesome popularity.
OK, so I mentioned that these are healthier, right? Well, it’s true! They’re better for you than Oreos (Although, I still love me some Oreos), as well as they’re better for you than the recipe I’ve modified them from. The reason for that comes from the ingredients I used. Now, remember that time I went all super nerdy baker in THIS recipe? I know, you’re trying to forget… Well, here it comes again. It’s in italics, so if you just want the recipe without all the nitty-gritty just skip the italicized paragraphs!
So there’s this thing called trans-fat that everybody is afraid of, yet nobody really fully understands. When bakers make frostings and cream fillings they usually use an ingredient called vegetable shortening. The reason for this is that it’s stable in high temperatures and doesn’t turn to liquid, like most fats would. But that’s because vegetable shortening contains something called partially hydrogenated oil. In reaction to consumers finding about about the horrors of trans-fats, most manufacturers have eliminated or reduced the amount of partially hydrogenated oil in their products (go team!) but there’s still a catch. They’re allowed to say a product is trans-fat free as long as, per serving, there’s less than half a gram of the stuff in their product. Vegetable shortening is 1 Tbsp. per serving and this recipe calls for 1/2 cup… that’s 16 servings of shortening. If you eat 4 cookies, you could be consuming a gram of trans-fat pretty easily. You should limit your daily consumption to less than 5 grams. See how that adds up? So, to make a VERY long rant (slightly) shorter – I eliminated vegetable shortening. Trans-fat case closed. Please proceed to stuffing your face.
As if that weren’t enough… yes… there’s more! In the cookies I’ve replaced all-purpose white flour with whole wheat flour. Because this is a heavy, chocolatey cookie, the whole wheat flour actually works nicely, adding to the richness of the cookie. It also has lots of fiber. SCORE! My last modification comes by using turbinado sugar in place of plain white sugar. It lowers the glycemic response and doesn’t spike blood sugar as much. This modification is noticeable, both visually and texturally. With flavor, you won’t notice much of a difference. If it’s looks you’re going for, though, run the turbinado through a food processor to make finer granules. I didn’t because I like that sugar-crusted look.
Oh, man… are you scared? I went a little crazy there. While I place a call to my therapist, how about you keep reading? On to the directions! Oh, and here’s a glam shot to get your juices flowing.
Start by setting the butter out to soften.
For the Dough:
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together. Set aside
- Cream 2 sticks of butter together with the turbinado sugar. To prevent the sugar from being highly visible in your cookies, run the sugar in a blender or food processor first. Personally, I like the granulated sugar look so I skip that step. And I don’t have to clean my food processor. Win-win. I use a hand mixer on high speed to cream the butter and sugar.
- With the mixer on high, add the eggs one at a time. Then, add 1 tsp. vanilla. Make sure each is completely incorporated before adding the next.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture. Eventually a dough will start to form. It will be too sticky to knead with your hands so, using a big spoon, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet completely. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and get everything together.
- Using a small spoon, scoop bits of the dough into your hands and roll into 1 inch balls. Flatten them onto an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and about 1/4 inch thick per cookie, and then refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
- Bake in a pre-heated 325°F oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Cream one stick of butter with the coconut oil with a hand mixer on high. The coconut oil may take a few minutes to reach a lighter, smoother consistency.
- With the mixer still on high, add 1 tsp. vanilla. Then, add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until nice and smooth.
Putting the Cookies Together:
Squeeze a bit of the frosting in the center of one cookie half. Lay the other cookie half on top and squish (very technical) together to make a sandwich. The cream will come to the edges and hold both halves together. You can refrigerate them for a few minutes, if you’d like, to harden the cream a bit and prevent it from oozing out the edges when you bite into it.
I made cookies to take the picture for this post, but I also just served the cookie halves on a plate and the cream in a bowl and let people dip. It was like a sweet, yummy, desserty chips and dip.
About Coconut Oil
Some people aren’t sure what coconut oil is or where they can get it. You can purchase it from most health food stores, Whole Foods, and some supermarkets. It comes in a plastic tub and is a white solid. It looks a bit like vegetable shortening but is WAY healthier and even has some assumed health benefits, which include helping to reduce weight, reduce cholesterol, and immune support. It’s also in my ONLINE STORE.