I debated whether or not I should categorize this post as "back to basics" because I don't necessarily think of cookies as a pantry staple. But, let's face it, most people have some sort of packaged cookie on hand at all times, and most of those cookies just aren't as wonderful as they're cracked up to be. As a child, my favorite cookie was the Oreo; I remember being able to eat them by the sleeve (does anyone else miss having the metabolism they had when they were 11?). Now, I can't get past the chemical taste, but I can remedy that problem by making them myself. I can't claim that this is more convenient than just buying them at the store, but they definitely taste the way an Oreo should taste, minus all the funky tasting stuff. The recipe recommends 10-12 minutes of baking, but my cookies were done after only 9 minutes, so you may want to start checking yours around 8 minutes.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for flattening cookies 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 large egg, room temperature Vanilla Cream Filling (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Into a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well combined.
3. Using a 1 1/4" ice cream scoop, drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets about 2" apart. Dip bottom of a glass in sugar, press to flatten cookies to about 1/8" thick. (You may need to carefully remove dough from glass with a thin metal spatula).
4. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are firm, 10-12 minutes (mine only took 9), rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Place cream filling in pastry bag fitted with a coupler and pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the flat side of half the cookies. Place remaining cookies on top and gently press on each to squeeze filling to the edges. Filled cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Vanilla Cream Filling (Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1. With an electric mixer, cream butter and shortening until well combined.
2. On low speed, gradually add confectioners' sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use.