by Sandra Thimgan

Wish you could make classics like Oreos™ and Fig Newtons™ in your own kitchen?

Poof! Your wish has been granted!

No genie or magic lamp required! You can take the “commercial” out of these iconic cookies! You don’t need extruders, sheeters, or little elves baking. . . you can make these fantastic, memorable cookies and amaze your family and friends! Your cookies won’t contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or other items you can’t spell or pronounce — “homemade” means you know each ingredient and choose the quality of those ingredients.

Homemade Oreos™

Makes 40 cookies — (20 sandwiches)

Pictured at left

Chocolate wafers:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup plus 2 T., room temperature butter

1 large egg

Filling:

1/4 cup room temperature butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups, sifted powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla (or part coconut extract)

Arrange two oven racks centrally in the oven. Preheat 375°.

In food processor or electric mixer bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low, add the butter and then the egg. Continue mixing until dough comes together in a mass. Take rounded teaspoons of batter, roll quickly in ball, place on parchment lined baking sheet about 2” apart. With cookie press or bottom of glass, slightly flatten each ball (sugaring the press/glass will help). Bake 9 minutes, rotating once. Set baking sheets on rack to cool.

For filling, put butter and shortening in bowl and at low speed, gradually beat in sugar and vanilla. Turn mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Assembly: Turn half the cookies over so flat side is up. Fill a

pastry bag with 1/2” tip with cream filling, pipe mounds on center of cookies. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of cream and lightly press to make filling spread. Pour a cold glass of milk and enjoy!

Homemade Fig Newtons™

1 cup roughly chopped dried figs, stems removed

1 T. honey

6 T. butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Place the figs in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 10-15 minutes. Remove the figs from the water with a slotted spoon (reserving a little soaking liquid) and place in a food processor. Add the honey and 1 T. of the soaking liquid. Puree until smooth and spreadable.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the egg, spices, and vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.

Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper into two 12 X 4 inch rectangles. Spread the fig mixture on one half of each rectangle, spreading up the 12” side and leaving a

1/4-1/2” border. Fold the dough over the filling and gently press the dough together at the edges. Cut each log into 10 cookies and transfer to a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove to cooling rack and enjoy!

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