I think the way a person eats Oreos is programmed at birth. And it has nothing to do with genetics, I tell you. I have no patience for twisting-licking-dunking ”“ I eat the cookies as is. My little girl Boo, however, has a very organized way of eating these chocolate sandwich cookies. Armed with a glass of milk, she lines the cookies up in a row (they usually come three to a wrapper), and with a deliberateness highly uncommon in a 5 year old, she’ll gently pry the two cookies apart, lick the white filling off of each cookie, and then eat each cookie after it’s been anointed in her glass of milk.
I’m not in the habit of cloning convenience treats but an excess of Dutch cocoa convinces me to try my hand at making homemade Oreos. This type of cookie is far from the drop cookies that I usually make — chocolate chip cookies and their ilk that are scooped up and then dropped onto a baking sheet. Oreos (at least the homemade version) are a type of rolled cookie where the dough is mixed, chilled, rolled out, shaped into circles with a cutter before the filling is added. Whew! Obviously, these are not the cookies to make when the munchies come a-callin’.
Sandwich cookies are all about contrasting colors and textures: a crisp cookie embracing a creamy vanilla filling. Also, the addition of corn syrup to a simple cookie batter pulls all the ingredients together and gives this snack “bite.” Of course the Dutch cocoa contributes the characteristic midnight hue, and makes it difficult to tell when these cookies are done baking. In times like these, the “nose knows.” Chocolate Lovers in Cubao sells this exotic black cocoa that would be perfect here in small amounts just for that extra black bang. But it must be used in conjunction with the Dutch cocoa because too much of it would be too intense.
The filling I use here is a marvel to me because it’s just butter, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla ”“ practically the same ingredients used in an American buttercream. With a little milk for more spread, this could be a frosting for cupcakes even. I don’t fancy “splodging” on the filling so I pipe it on each cookie half using a large round. It makes for a neater, more authentic Oreo.
The result? A chocolate-y cookie with a smoky flavor from the dark cocoa with real crunch just like an Oreo. The filling is perfumed with vanilla ”“ a far cry from its more processed counterpart. It’s delicious, and these practically scream to be paired with a glass of cold (one-percent skim) milk.
Authenticity however, can leave much to be desired, even if “authenticity” itself is loaded with additives and other hard-to-pronounce chemicals. Boo turns her nose up at my faux-reos: “They’re fake, Mom,” she says. All I can do is chuckle.
Note: Here’s a good recipe for making homemade Oreos.