The 12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Day Two

Homemade Holiday Oreos

Let’s face it. Oreos can be addictive, as a study by researchers at Connecticut College determined.  Nibbling the salty chocolate cookie with its sweet vanilla filling prompts neuronal activation in the “pleasure center” of the brain (at least it does in lab rats). 
But we’re not lab rats. We’re people. 
So, let’s have a homemade, you-know-exactly-what’s-in-it treat. Adapted from a recipe by Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston, these homemade Oreos can be what you want them to be. 
Make them bigger or smaller. 
Color and flavor the filling as you wish.  
And dunk all you want.
Adapted from my new cookbook Bake Happy (Running Press) that will be out in May 2015.

Homemade Holiday Oreos
Makes about 24 sandwich cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (88 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Red, white, and green sprinkles

Vanilla Filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
12/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gel food coloring (optional)

For the cookies, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, and chocolate chips until melted , about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda until well blended. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes, then cover the pan and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or until it is thick like modeling clay.

Place a 17-inch-long sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Spoon the dough onto the parchment and form it into a 17 -long log. Roll the parchment paper around the log of dough and work the dough into a smooth cylinder. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. (You can also wrap and freeze the dough for up to 3 months at this point.)

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Using a chef’s knife, cut the dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange the slices 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Bake the cookies on the upper and lower racks in the oven for 10 minutes, then switch the baking sheets and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until the cookies are just firm when pressed gently in the middle. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheets for 1 hour. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

For the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Divide in half; add green food coloring to one half and red to the other.

These cookies are also fun to make and eat any time of year, so use color to make you happy!

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