I missed a week. I am so sorry.
Lately, I've been pretty good at blogging once a week (or more, depending on my free time to bake), but the past week has been bonkers. Actually, the past month has been bonkers -- maybe even two months. Lots has happened, like weddings and trips and busy times at work, and I know I usually always find the time to squeeze in some blogging... but I just couldn't. I'll be better.
My twin brother got married. I know. The emotions surrounding the whole event are hard to put into words. I have three brothers, so family weddings aren't foreign affairs; I watched my two older brothers get married when I was a teenager, wore the bridesmaid dresses, gave some horrible rehearsal dinner speeches, the whole shebang. But Kevin's (twin's) wedding was different in a lot of ways, mostly because I'm much older, and although being a teenager is well enough on your way to understanding what marriage is and what marriage means, it's an entirely different experience when you're at that age (25) where marriage is more than a concept. Especially when it's happening to someone you've literally known for your entire life -- seriously, in-the-womb life, TMI? -- and you feel you know that person better than you know anyone else, and vice-versa. So when you watch that person make a monumental step in his life, in a way, it's a monumental step in yours. Is this making sense? No? Ask a twin.
In any case, the weekend was a big deal. I was a complete wreck. I am so *incandescently* happy for Kevin and his wife, and seeing Kevin filled with joy fills me with joy, and when I'm filled to-the-brim with joy, it seems to seep out in the form of tears. I am so much of a joyful crier -- I rarely cry when I feel any other emotion, which is a strange thing... but the series of joyful days brought me back to when Kevin and I were little kids, and when we used to dunk Oreo after Oreo into glass after glass of milk.
I always thought the two of us should've been in an Oreo commercial. There we were: 4 or 5 years old in some faded, chocolate-stained overalls, sitting at the kitchen table with mugs of milk and an entire pack of Oreos in between us. We'd dunk an Oreo into the milk, and instead of just dunking it, which is what you see in commercials these days -- we would drop it in the milk. And then we'd let it soak until it began to tip and almost completely sink, and then we'd reach in, grab it and eat it in one bite. We had the same exact strategy, and it was one of very few things on which we agreed at that age. But then there we were 10 years later: 15 years old, having just got home from some high school sport practice, sitting on the couch watching CSI with mugs of milk and a pack of Oreos in between us.
Some things never change. I wish we'd had a free moment during the wedding weekend; we would've spent it dropping Oreos into milk. But when I arrived back home, I was inspired to make some Oreos myself.
I don't want to lie to you and tell you these are better than the real thing, because they're not. It's like me trying to win Carson over with a batch of brownies, and every time he'll tell me, "they're not Mom's." (Even when I have the best-ever brownies on this blog.) When you grow up with a recipe that dear to your heart, you're just not going to find anything better. But you can try. And you can add sprinkles.
These are a bit thicker than your average Oreo, and a bit softer. If you'd like them thinner or harder, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thick instead of 1/4-inch, and bake them 5-7 minutes longer. I also wished I had black cocoa on hand; it would've made these richer and darker, like your typical Oreo. And of course, sprinkles are optional -- but they really do make everything better.
Adapted from Baking a Moment
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 10 minutes | Makes 24 sandwich cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark or black cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
Stir in vanilla and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the egg. Add the cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt, and mix on low speed until combined. Gradually add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (This only took 2 cups of flour for me, but depending on your environment/location you may need more. Add flour 1/4 cup at a time until you reach this point.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough between two sheets of parchment to 1/4-inch thickness (or thinner, depending on how you like your cookies). Use a 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut out cookies, re-rolling the scraps as needed to make 48 rounds.
Place rounds on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are crisp around the edges and set in the centers. Let cool completely on a wire rack, then sandwich with filling.
To make the filling, beat powdered sugar, butter, salt and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with the end snipped, and pipe half of the rounds with the filling. Sandwich with remaining cookie rounds, and roll the edges in sprinkles, if desired.