One blog that I heavily rely on for dessert recipes is Culinary in the Country. It is one of the first blog that I discovered when I started blogging. Joe's recipes are foolproof, delicious. He is down to earth and will always share his knowledge of baking or cooking with everyone. When I heard Joe talk about Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes, on Cooking Light forum, I started to look at it on Amazon and ordered my copy for my IPad kindle. Really like that kindle. In less than one minute I had access to the cookbook. This bakery is in Boston and I had never heard of it before. Hopefully I will visit it someday. I have bookmarked many recipes from the cookbook like Flour's Famous Banana Bread, Brioche au Chocolat, Sticky Sticky Buns, Homemade Pop-Tarts and many more.
The first recipe that I baked was the Homemade Oreos. This is a pretty simple recipe that yields a lot of cookies. Since it is the only recipe of homemade Oreos that I have tried I can't compare the taste to any other homemade recipes but I can certainly tell you that they taste much better than the store-bought Oreo cookie. The chocolate dough itself, once cooked, has a deep chocolate flavor. You can fill the cookies with ice cream and you will not stop eating them. The Vanilla Cream Filling is similar to buttercream. I only baked one log and kept one in the freezer for when I feel the urge to eat an Oreo cookie. They are really good, addictive. Make them they will be a hit at your next party.
· 1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
· 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 cup (200 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
· 1 egg
· 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
· 3/4 cup (90 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Vanilla Cream Filling:
· 1/2 cup (1 stick/114 grams) unsalted butter, softened
· 1 2/3 cups (230 grams) confectioners’ sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 tablespoon milk
· Pinch of kosher salt
In a medium bowl, whisk the butter and the sugar until combined. Whisk in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. The dought will start to seem too floury, and you will find it easiest to switch to mixing it with your hands until it comes together. It will have the consistency of Play-Doh. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hours to firm up.
Transfer the dough to a 15-inch square sheet of parchment paper. Using your hands, shape the dough into a rough log about 10 inches long and 2 ½ inches in diameter. Place the log at the edge of the sheet of parchment paper, and roll the parchment around the log.
With the log fully encased in parchment, roll it into a smoother log, keeping it at 2 ½ inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. The log may settle and sink a bit in the fridge, so reroll it every 15 minutes or so to maintain a nice round log. (At this point, the dough log can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If the dough is frozen, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.)
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Cut the dough lot into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place the slices about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Check them frequently after 16 to 17 minutes, poking them in the middle. As soon as they feel firm to the touch, remove them from the oven. You can’t judge by color because they start out black. Let cook on the baking sheet to warm or room temperature. They don’t have to cool completely before your fill them, but you can’t fill them while they are hot.
While the cookies are cooling, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat the butter on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until completely smooth and soft. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Add the milk and salt and again beat until smooth. It will look like white spackle and feel about the same—like putty.
Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie. Top with a second cookie, bottom-side down, then press the cookies together to spread the filling toward the edges. Repeat until all of the cookies are filled.
From FLOUR © 2010 by Joanne Chang. Used with permission from Chronicle Books, San Francisco.