The last four weeks were a whirlwind of house hunting and negotiating, a wonderful weekend in Chicago, a (very hot) trip to Boston for the marathon, and a visit from a dear friend and her boyfriend who we met for the first time. Between all of that, life in general, and work (oh, yes, that -- I do have a job), I feel like I've been largely absent from cooking and blogging and doing things at home that I love. The glorious spring weather we have had is a contributing factor... I just feel guilty being inside!
A major contributing factor to feeling overwhelmed is that we are under contract (!!) on a home. If all goes well, we'll be home owners in mid-June. When I think about cooking, I now see myself in our new kitchen and cooking in our current place just isn't as enticing. The prospect of owning our own home is both amazing and terrifying. I don't want to share any details about the house until things are official, but below is a glimpse at a lovely little something from the backyard.
Thankfully, S's birthday party this weekend snapped me out of my house dreaming and back to reality - I promised to bring dessert to the party and the clock was ticking until party time. Initially, I offered to make Rhubarb Buckle. If you love rhubarb, you must make Ali's version of Rhubarb Buckle. Seriously. It is a must. We made it during the aforementioned trip to Chicago and I had four pieces in a 24 hour period. Are you judging? If so, just wait until you make it!
You know what else is dangerous? These Double Stuff Oreos. Looking at my photos, these look more like whoopie pies than Oreos. If you look at the photos on Smitten Kitchen, the cookies are much flatter and thinner.... I was worried that the cookies would flatten considerably during baking, but they didn't. Next time I make these, I'll press them down more before baking. I do, however, stand by my change to make fewer cookies but to add more filling. The filling really complements the intense chocolate flavor (with a touch of saltiness) of the cookies and I think the cookies as a whole benefit from just a little more filling.
If you have a cookie thief in your household, beware! I had to stop Rob not only from eating the cookies, but also the frosting. Under the guise of helping me spread the filling, I caught him sneaking tastes of both. Consider yourself warned!
Double Stuff Oreos
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Yield = 20 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
- In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until the dough comes together in a mass.
- Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
- To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
- To assemble the cookies, use either a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip to pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie or use a butter knife (I used a knife and it worked well). Apply filling to half of the cookies and then apply any remaining filling to the cookies until you use all of the filling. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the filling. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched.
After making these for a second time, I wanted to report back about making the cookies thinner. The second time around, I used approximately 1 rounded tablespoon of dough per cookies. I rolled the dough into a ball, placed it on the parchment paper, and used the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookie to approximately 1/4" in thickness (as pictured below). The end result is a much flatter, more Oreo-like cookie. I kind of like the look of my first (very thick) batch, but these were more manageable to eat!