Homemade Oreo Cookies

Is it possible for a facsimile to be as good as the real thing? What if the source, what you’re copying, is packaged in plastic, processed, and shelf-stable? But it’s also iconic, nostalgic, a specific chemical combination that affects us profoundly through every sense?

The Oreo is one of the most recognizable cookies in American consumer history. We don’t like Oreos because they are the best tasting cookie we’ve ever had; we like them because they represent childhood, innocence, a time before knowledge of refined sugar, carbs, fats, trans fats, GMOs, Monsanto, Atkins, gluten intolerance, and the glycemic index. And they are so perfect dunked in an ice-cold glass of milk.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

The cookies I made today are simple. Sugar, butter, flour, cocoa. Two crisp chocolate wafers stuck together with an unholy adhesive of shortening, butter, and powdered sugar. They certainly are not healthy. But are they better? Better for my body, the planet, human existence? Are packaged cookies inherently evil? We’re starting to vilify food in a strange but understandable way. We don’t have a lot of the products in our pantry my parents kept when I was growing up. For a generation or two, we were smitten with convenience, gloss, and science. Now, it seems, things are swinging back toward baking from scratch, gardening and growing and making your own. This is for the good, for sure.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Are Oreos going the way of the dodo? I don’t know. Are these cookies delicious? Yes. And easy. And you probably have all the ingredients on hand right now. You can use all butter in the filling instead of shortening, if it gives you the creeps. Shortening is more authentically…white and weird. Whatever you do, enjoy these cookies with lots of milk – cow, goat, almond, rice, soy, coconut, hemp, or what-have-you.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Homemade Oreo Cookies
Adapted from a recipe in Retro Desserts, by Wayne Harley Brachman

Ingredients:

For the wafers:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For the cream filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

For the wafers:

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whiz together dry ingredients, then add butter and egg. Keep mixing until the dough comes together in a ball. Drop rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 9 minutes. Allow cookies to cool in a rack.

For the cream filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whiz together all ingredients until smooth. When wafers are completely cooled, spread with filling or pipe with a pastry bag.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road. She creates content on the internet, on subjects ranging from summer camps to semi-precious stones to the folklore of food. With Malcolm, Jillian was one of the original "Insiders," for the Visit Maine tourism campaign. She loves telling the stories of her adopted state, finding out-of-the-way places, and people making interesting things. Watching her daughters play in the wild woods and fields of Cushing makes her very happy.

5 Comments

  1. Beautifully written and contemplative, as per usual.

    These look fantastic. Weirdly enough, my whole life I’ve only liked to eat Oreos if I’m wet. At the lake, at the river, at Schlitterbahn. I’ll only eat them if I’ve been swimming.

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  2. Thanks for the recipe. I gave it a whirl tonight and so pleased with the delicious outcome! My 10 year old daughter, who is nuts about store-bought oreos, thought these were amazing. We “clinked” cookies in celebration of an awesome recipe. Thank you!

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