Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Home(made) is where the Heart is

The cool thing about being a blogger is that I get to talk about anything I want and I have no deadline to follow. But that being said, I often find myself with writer's block. I go through my days and I think "Hey, that'll be funny to blog about" or "Dang, I can't wait to blog this!" But then when the time comes for me to sit down and type it out, I can't remember why something could possibly be funny to anyone other than myself and my dog (she's got an awesome sense of humor) and other times what I think is cool to blog about just turns out to be not very interesting once it's been set up with a back story that usually ends up to be 50 paragraphs long. So I end up with a giant blank screen and a whole list of chores that hasn't been crossed of my daily to do list. 

I started this blog to have a place to share my adventures and have informative one way discussions about makeup and clothes primarily. It then morphed into a place where I tease and tempt you with recipes of scrumptious baked goods and then drop kick the fat kid in you with super intense workout routines. This blog is all over the place! A true representation of who I am indeed. 

These past few months have been quite awesome and all though I go through phases when I miss my family dearly I can usually stuff the sadness away by taking a little stroll around town. Today is a particularly dreary day and the feelings are slowly starting to surface so in a panic to regain my composure I figure I could write about this until I come up with something more effective at shooing away the 'miss my family' blues. 

So I decide I'm going to bake something. Go figure. I have a Christmas party to attend this weekend so I have to bake something for that but I just haven't decided what it should be exactly. I've been eyeballing a recipe for Honey and apple challah that seems appropriate at the moment but I have a hard time dedicating HOURS to bread making. I mean I do it- I just always seem to regret it mid-way through the second (or third) rise. *Sigh*

In the mean time I guess I could share with you my success story with Homemade Oreos recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I don't really have a sweet back story for wanting to give this a try. It's not like my brothers and I have fond memories of sitting by a fire place at Christmas time sharing a package of Oreos with a huge glass of milk. I don't even remember eating Oreos as a kid… but something about the idea of making something that is so commercial at home in my own kitchen reminded me of being around my family. I think it partly has something to do with the fact that I come from a serious line of awesome cooks and bakers. That's probably why I love sweets so much, it's just in my blood. =)

I made a double batch (because come I'm making OREOS at HOME… two dozen just isn't enough to share) and also tweaked the recipe a bit to get a more authentic cookie. For the original recipe please click here.

Makes 80 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hersey's Dark Cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup (2 1/2 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
2 large eggs
For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or 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 dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded half teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 10 minutes. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. 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.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

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