Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Oreo" Cookies

I'm trying out various cookie recipes to possibly make for our upcoming holiday entertaining, and when I found this "Oreo" cookie recipe, I couldn't resist trying it.

They came out tasting good, but there is no way I would recommend trying to roll out the cookie dough. I chilled it overnight and ended up with dough that could be cut but wouldn't come off the parchment paper. So I did one batch with kind of reformed shapes that had been cut out and pried off the parchment paper, and then I just tried to eyeball-formed the rest of the dough into disks of relatively equal size. I actually liked how the eyeball-formed ones turned out better. The cut ones were smaller and tasted a bit burnt to me.

These don't taste exactly like Oreo cookies, but they're a decent replication, and I especially liked that I know exactly what went into them. No hydrogenated or high fructose anything. Definitely a plus.

"Oreo" Cookies
A variation on this recipe from Trois Pommes Patisserie, Brooklyn for Food Network Magazine


For the Dough:
1 1/3 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the dough: Sift together the cocoa powder, flour and salt in a large bowl.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, incorporating each ingredient before adding the next. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Refrigerate dough, until firm, at least 1 hour or up to several days.

Using a melon baller or tablespoon measure, scoop out even amounts of dough and form into disks. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and chill for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Bake the cookies until they are set and slightly darker around the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.

Flip half of the cookies upside down and top each with 1 level tablespoon of filling. Press the remaining cookies on top to make sandwiches.

Black-Bean Salsa Chili

This was a wonderful thing to have on a chilly night. The garnish really does give it a whole other dimension. And it went very well with the Honey Cornbread Muffins I'd made before.

My only modifications were that I used olive oil rather than cooking spray, and I used 1 tablespoon of chili powder rather than the 1 1/2 that's called for in the original recipe. I don't think the additional 1/2 tablespoon would have made it too spicy, so I may have been unnecessarily cautious.

Black-Bean Salsa Chili
Courtesy of Cooking Light


2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Cooking spray
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Combine 1 1/2 cups beans, 2/3 cup water, and sugar in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine bean puree and remaining beans in a bowl.

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove turkey from pan.

Add onion, bell peppers, and bacon to pan; cook 5 minutes or until bacon and onion are lightly browned. Return turkey to pan. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pan; stir well to coat. Stir in bean mixture, salsa, tomato paste, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine sour cream, cilantro, and juice in a small bowl. Serve chili with sour cream mixture.