Oreos are the quintessiential American biscuit (or cookie), but since we Brits are fairly new to their ways and loyal to our impressive range of biscuits, we don’t usually get to experience the whole family of Oreo styles here such as Double Stuf or fudge covered without a plane ticket or friends coming over here. So imagine my glee when I discovered a recipe for homeamde Oreos and realised I could fulfil my yen for peppermint Oreos without increasing my carbon footprint or having go through airport security…
I was introduced to the underrated delights of the peppermint Oreo last year when my friend C generously allowed me to sample one of the stash she had specifically requested a mutual friend ship back from the States. Already a big fan of the the dark cocoa tang of an Oreo, I was won over by combining this with mint for a biscuit with a bit of a tingle. It seemed only fitting that I whip up a batch of these beauties for C’s recent birthday.
I found the recipe online here and in my excitement, failed to notice it had also come via Smitten Kitchen, following the less clear and informative reworking rather than Deb’s clear and concise post. I made making these faffier than they needed to be by not doing this, but hopefully I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
Firstly, measuring half a cup of butter is insane. Even doing it by the American style sticks would be slightly more helpful. But scooping up soft butter with a spoon or a knife to pack it into a cup is silly. It means half the butter sticks inside it you then need to use a spatula to get it out and then wash it, the cup and the knife before you can do anything else. For reference, half a cup of butter is equivalent to dividing a block of butter in half. Save yourself the extra hassle.
Secondly, the dough for these is a bit weird. It looks like there just isn’t enough fat to make it come together and you will be tempted to add a splash of milk to moisten them. You don’t need to. You just need to remember that most American recipes assume you are using a food processor or KitchenAid to mix and thus have more horsepower with doughs etc. Just roll up your sleeves and get kneading and just as you’re knackered, the dough will sort of magically come together and look sleek and glossy and perfect.
Thirdly, ignore the two teaspoons per biscuit recommendation. It’s dough, not batter and it doesn’t really measure in spoonfuls. Instead oil your work surface well and roll the dough out fairly thin and then use a shot glass or small cutter to cut out rounds. This makes the dough easier to work with and gives you something approximating the size of an actual Oreo. This is important because these biscuits spread a fair bit when you cook them and I found them to be about 20% bigger after baking.
Other than that, these are super easy to make even with regular dark cocoa powder rather than the difficult to get here black cocoa that gives commercial Oreos their distinctive shade. The dough doesn’t take long to make and the biscuits only take a snappy 9 minutes to cook and don’t even need to be transferred to a wire rack to cool (if don’t have one), crisping nicely on the tray as you turn your attention to the filling.
Both recipes I’ve linked to suggest using a mix of butter and vegetable shortening to give that stiff texture we associate with Oreo filling. If you want to do this, you can use Trex to get the effect without altering the colour. I am intrinsically averse to cooking with solid fats that have been hydrogenated, so I decided to make the butter stiffer and whiter with a mix of cream cheese instead, ending up with a ratio of the other half packet of (unsalted) butter and about half a tub of cheese and two and a half teaspoons of peppermint extract to fill the roughly thirty five cookies I had made.
Although the bought version have the peppermint filling dyed green, I decided to keep mine old school black and white instead before piping the filling onto a biscuit and making a little sandwich with another one on top. You can be fairly generous with the filling, but remember it will spread due to the buttery texture so don’t overfill if you are transporting them.
I suggest not even trying to be grown up at this point and serving your homemade Oreos with a glass of ice-cold milk (in front of a cartoon for added authenticity) as they really do work well together. I also dare you not to eat at least half of these in one sitting. They are utterly delicious and incredibly moreish and since they can be personalised to fit all tastes, well worth making! I might try either a pumpkin spiced filling or a peanut butter cream next time…