For most of my cooking life I have relied on several good basic cookbooks for the recipes I needed. But, in the last year or so I've been finding more and more recipes on-line, many of them on blogs.
So, I decided to start an occasional series titled, "I Made It."
When I make a recipe found on another blog, I'm going to post a review of the recipe. I'll tell you my thoughts, what I changed (if anything) and how my family reacted. At least some of the time I'll tell you our story connected to the recipe.
Today's review is for Chocolate Sandwich Cookies from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. Lynn graciously agreed to let me post her picture of the cookies, since my family devoured them before I remembered to take a picture.
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies - Review
The Story Behind the Recipe:
Back a few months ago, when my kids were begging for Oreos and I was refusing because they're so expensive, I went in search of a recipe for homemade Oreos. I found a few and then never had the time over the summer to make them (or the desire to turn the oven on when it was 90+° outside). Then I spotted this recipe back in August and saved it in my Recipe folder. It looked easier than the other recipes I'd found and didn't require so many specialty ingredients. I liked that. I'm not fond of recipes that require ingredients that I don't keep on hand. Why should I buy a bottle of some spice, when I'm only going to use a tsp of it in one recipe in 6 months time?
So, the recipe sat in my folder for a while. Then one day last week my son asked to buy lunch the next day - a grilled cheese sandwich and a fudge bar. Hmm. $2.00 for a grilled cheese sandwich? Mmmm, not so much.
I gave him a choice. I could make his lunch and we would have grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner that night (my compromise) or he could pay the $2.00 for his lunch. He chose grilled cheese for dinner. Smart boy.
But, the conversation made me realize it was time to up the "Wow Factor" for his lunch. This is the same boy who was content to take a peanut butter sandwich, applesauce and granola bar every day all year of kindergarten. But, this year, his tastes have expanded (a good thing) and he's feeling a bit deprived when looking at the sweet-processed stuff his classmates are eating (not a good thing).
So, I decided it was time to pull out this recipe and make it.
As I said, one of the reasons I was initially attracted is because it doesn't have any funky ingredients that I don't keep on hand. This made it easy to make.
The cookie recipe itself goes together very easily. You basically dump everything into your mixer and let the machine do the work. When using a dry mix, I always use a whisk to break up any lumps before I add the wet ingredients. I definitely found this helpful as there were a bunch of lumps in my cake mixes. Baking went exactly according to Lynn's directions. I baked them for 8 minutes, but this will vary a bit with each oven. Some of them I cooled on the pan and then moved to a rack, others I moved to the rack right away. It didn't seem to make a difference either way. Confession: some of the cookies did not get cool before they were consumed. They smelled wonderful and I was craving chocolate. I ate them. I enjoyed them. I'm not sorry. (My hips may be sorry.)
The frosting also went together very easily. I used 4 cups of sugar because it seemed a bit too soft after only 3 cups. One addition I would make to the directions would be to sift the confectioner's sugar before adding it to the butter/cream cheese mixture. I find confectioner's sugar to be on the lumpy side and this does not make for smooth icing, therefore, I sift. I did not add food coloring, but if I were making these around a particular holiday this would be a fun addition. Even with 4 cups of sugar I found the icing to be a bit soft (maybe my butter & cream cheese were too soft to start?), so I chilled the icing before I iced the cookies. They iced very easily, but I will say, between the cookies we ate without icing and the fact that I didn't stuff them too full I think I have enough icing for 4 or 5 batches of these cookies. (I wonder if you can freeze cream cheese icing. Anyone know?)
My family loved these cookies - as evidenced that I had to beg a picture off of Lynn because we ate them all. These are not the crispy crunchy lard filled cookie of an Oreo. These are, however, wonderfully chewy cookies. We liked them iced as sandwich cookies, but we also enjoyed them non-iced, especially with a cold glass of milk. They were really delicious. And, I think they satisfied my son's craving for more "wow" in his lunch, at least for a week or two.