I've been quiet, but K has been baking up a storm. I actually said out loud a few days back "Please, no more cake." One of her latest projects, and one of my recent favorites, was the homemade "Oreos" from the Flour Bakery Cookbook.
Flour Bakery’s Homemade Oreos
Yield: 16 to 18 sandwich cookiesCookies:
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1-1/2 cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (90 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt (K used vanilla salt)
1/2 tsp.baking soda
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate. Add the egg and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well mixed. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. The dough will start to seem to floury, so you will find it easiest to switch to mixing it with your hands until it comes together. (K's note: You will get lots of cookie dough on your hands.) The finished dough will have the consistency of Play-Doh.
Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Shape the dough into a rough log about 10 inches long and 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Place the log at the edge of the sheet of parchment paper, and roll the parchment around the log. With the log fully encased in parchment, roll it into a smoother log, keeping it at 2-1/2 inches in diameter. (Note: K's log rolling skills were not perfect, so we ended up with oblong cookies.) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm. The log may settle and sink a bit in the fridge, so re-roll it every 15 minutes or so to maintain a nice round log, if you like. K did not re-roll.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Check them frequently after 16 or 17 minutes, poking them in the middle. As soon as they feel firm to the touch, remove them from the oven. Let cool before filling.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. milk
Pinch of kosher salt
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until completely smooth and soft. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat until the mixture is perfectly smooth. Add the milk and salt and again beat until smooth. You should have about 1 cup.
Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, bottom side down, then press the cookies together to spread the filling toward the edges. Repeat until all of the cookies are filled.