I’ve wanted to make Smitten Kitchen’s Oreos since Deb Perelman posted the recipe in May of 2007. It’s now 2014, which means I’ve spent an entire quarter of my life thinking about making a single recipe. This is why I need a blog.
In the beginning, it was college’s fault. My dorm kitchen wasn’t conducive to anything having to do with food unless that thing was eating Thai takeout. Excuses from years 3 – 7 are a little less straightforward. There was probably a lot of “I could make this challenging, time-consuming cookie recipe… or watch another six episodes of Felicity” happening. And then substitute “Felicity” with “Friday Night Lights,” “Nurse Jackie,” and/or any Nora Ephron movie. I also never kept vegetable shortening in my apartment, because while I’m 63 at heart, my grocery list is not.
Most of all, I think I was nervous to tackle a recipe that a.) had multiple parts, and b.) was supposed to taste like a very specific, very identifiable, very popular trademarked cookie. It didn’t seem like something I would succeed at with my usual method of throwing some eyeballed ingredients in a bowl and then mixing until the lumps are small enough that they won’t ruin everything.
But guess what? These were SO EASY. Seven years of worrying FOR NOTHING. If you can follow a recipe, you can make these cookies. And you don’t even have to worry about the shortening clogging your arteries, because it’s 2014 and they make non-hydrogenated shortening* now. Guys. We have no excuse not to make our own Oreos.
A few things I learned while making Oreos:
- Read the recipe in advance. If, for example,the recipe calls for room temperature butter, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly rather than reaching that point of the recipe and having frozen, rock solid butter.
- If, however, you don’t read the recipe in advance and your butter is cold when it needs to be room temp, it turns out that 2 rounds of 10 seconds in the microwave does the trick.
- If the recipe says to blend dry ingredients in a food processor or bowl of an electric mixer, but all you have is a hand mixer, do not fall into the trap of thinking those are interchangeable devices. You will get flour and cocoa e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. Your hands will do the job just fine.
- Have leftover pizza to snack on while you’re waiting to swap cookie sheets in and out of the oven. I recommend the mushroom pizza from The Churchill in LA.
So that’s a wrap on homemade Oreos. Seven years later. Please excuse the grainy, blown out photos. I’ll be back soon with honey chocolate chunk cookies.
*I found non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening at Whole Foods.