Sunday, March 31, 2013

Homemade Oreos (Lancelots)

My dad recommended I call these "Lancelots".  Why? Well, to be honest, I'm not really sure but he said "Why are they called Oreos? Who knows? Let's just call them Lancelots". And you know what? I like it! Seems like a fitting name!
With my brother home, and Passover (and Easter!) in the air, there's been a flurry of activity in the kitchen. From brisket to various matzah dishes and classic Easter ham later, it's been hard choosing one recipe to focus on. Like always when I'm really struggling, it came to me at night. Never question your dreams, they always tell you in school - so....homemade Lancelots! And of course, Lancelot wanted to help with the baking, but he got lost under the sofa for several hours, presumably busy snuffling at every corner, trying to figure out the mysteries of the dust bunny communities. 

And WOAH! Is that a layer of peanut butter?! Mmhm. Why yes it is. I made about a dozen with a layer of peanut butter, too. And they are exceptional when coated in chocolate! Happy Easter!

Bake Temp: 350 F
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Ready In: 90 minutes (with chilling)

1 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temp
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
 3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Prepare the cookies! Now make the frosting!
Just kidding, I'll give you directions.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing slowly.  Combine all until it is just incorporated.
Divide the dough in half, and roll it into two logs, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until it is stiff.
When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter lightly.

Taking only one portion of dough out of the refrigerator at a time, cut the slices into 1/8 – 1/4-inch thickness.  Transfer to baking sheet. They'll expand a little, so give about 1/2 inch in between them. You can fit a lot unto a sheet
Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, let them cool before transferring to a baking sheet. If you take them off too soon, they may be at risk of crumbling!

Once the cookies are cooled, prepare the filling. 
Combine the softened butter, half and half, and vanilla and beat until combined. Keeping in mind the consistency of oreo filling, it should be smooth, but if you move it too quickly, it will clump. Add the powdered sugar gradually, approximately 1/2 cup at a time, until the filling comes together. The filling should be slightly stiffer than cupcake frosting.

I divided my cookies because I had three distinct sizes and thicknesses. I matched up all the cookies with similar sizes.

Spread frosting on each cookie and gently push them together. I also prepared a peanut butter frosting, and spread it on some halves of the cookies to smoosh them together so they had both cream and peanut butter frosting. Yum!

 For the peanut butter frosting, I took Teddy peanut butter and mixed in confectioner's sugar (about 3 parts sugar to 1 part peanut butter). I added in some milk because it seemed a little thick, but you can mess with the ratios as you see fit.

 Mmmm, don't the look delish?

Perfect for dipping. The cookies absorb so much milk and, especially with the sugar, it balances out the sweetness. Just be careful, they go awfully quickly once you start!

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