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I lost a bet.

More specifically, I lost a Masterchef bet because I really really wanted that adorable Brandi to win. (It’s okay, girl, madeleines are hard!) So, I owed a friend something baked and chocolate. Being as busy and lazy as I’ve been this year, noted in my nine month absence from the blog, I pulled out a recipe I tried once last year and decided to change it up with a peanut butter filling instead.

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I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with peanut-butter fillings. I lovepeanut butter- I will put M&Ms on a spoonful of peanut butter and call it a happy snack – but peanut butter fillings have become too sweet for my palette. I was pretty excited to make a savory-sweet filling to fit my finicky taste buds. Martha Stewart to the rescue- her recipe was perfect!

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Oh, man, these turned out delicious! A luscious chocolate cookie that’s a little softer and chewier than your usual Oreo with a smooth sweet-salty peanut buttery inside. Perfect for a snack or dessert or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. These cookie sandwiches are not super sweet- in fact, you can adjust the sugar level in the cookie as needed. You can add more sugar if you want it sweeter or less to make it more Oreo-like. You can guess which way I went. They can be made as large or as little as you want, once you get the knack of how the dough works. (Meaning: it doesn’t spread very much, so keep that in mind when rolling and flattening out the dough balls.)

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The dough doesn’t require any refrigeration to set up so you can bang out a batch in a couple of hours! Maybe less, if you weren’t as distracted as I was with the TV (yay for sweeps week!) on or trying to multitask other mealtime prep. I’ve also put in the knockoff Oreo filling in case you wanted the OG style Oreo. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you could do both! And probably use food coloring to make it any holiday-appropriate. 🙂 All I can say is that they are pretty tasty and a hit at a recent potluck. Yes, you will be admired and adored if you bring these to group gatherings.

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So in the end, it’s okay that I lost this bet. These babies are going into Christmas packages this year!

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Homemade Oreos (Makes about 48-60 cookies or 24-30 sandwich cookies)
Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1 1/2 cup sugar*
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (one stick + quarter of a stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

*If you want them closer to the traditional Oreo, stick with 1 cup of sugar. If you want these wafers sweeter or are using them for another application, feel free to go up to 1 1/2 cups. I actually used a smidge less than 1 cup, maybe 7/8 of a cup.

Regular filling:
1/4 cup (half a stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4-1 cup powdered sugar (original recipe uses 2 cups, I cut it in half and still found it too sweet)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut butter filling (Martha Stewart)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prep a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, cream the butter, then add the egg and sugar and thoroughly mix together. You can use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or a wooden spoon. Add the dry ingredients (I did it in two halves) and mix it all together. (Be careful: The cocoa powder will fly up into your face!)

Scoop up rounded teaspoons of dough (or you can use scant 1/2 tablespoons for larger cookies), roll gently into balls, and place them on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Then slightly flatten the dough with moistened hands. (The dough may be springy. You can be a little more firm and squish it back down. They don’t spread too much in the oven. If they stay rounded, you will get more rounded cookies rather than flat wafers.)

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. They will look soft when they come out. Put them on baking racks to cool and firm up.

To make either filling: Cream the butter (or butter and shortening) in a bowl at low speed and gradually add in the other ingredients. Mix until smooth, then put in a pastry bag or ziplock bag until ready to use. If you’re really lazy like me, you’ll just dump everything in the bowl at once and mix them together. Start with the lowest amount of sugar you think you’d want and work your way up.

To assemble cookies: Match the cookies into pairs. Pipe the filling either in a nice teaspoon-sized blob in the middle or like a pinwheel like mine above. Place the matching cooking on top and gently press together until the filling squishes out to nearly the edges of the cookies. Do them for all the cookies. Eat up the unmatched ones if you ended up with an odd number of cookies. Or do what I did and use them as testers for my filling. Serve with coffee, tea, or milk. Enjoy!

 

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