44/52: Homemade Halloween Oreo Cookies with Patrina

Good morning and Happy Halloween!

I felt it was only appropriate to end the month with something festive and of course with my October baking project! My aunt and I both decided to take a month off in September because of the craziness of school for me, and her as well {I don’t know how she does it with 4 kids, 3 being teens/tweens!}. So here we are with our October goody… homemade oreos! Who doesn’t love an oreo? I don’t think it is one of those goodies I could eat all the time, but I definitely have my spurts where oreos just hit the spot. Overall these were yummy! The cookie is crisp, but so much better than the store-bought version. The filling was pretty good, but I think they would have been just as good with a regular frosting in the middle – but then again, I guess they wouldn’t be homemade oreo cookies then?!

These are super fun Halloween treats. I think I’m going to put together some treat bags for my MAE cohort today — we have long days with double classes tonight. Eeek. We could probably all use the sugar rush!

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Ingredients:
For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar {Use 1 cup for a truer-to-original Oreo wafer or more sugar for a sweeter chocolate cookie}
10 tbsp {1 stick + 2 tbsp} unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

For the cream filling {white}:

4 tbsp {1/2 stick} unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the butter to the bowl and pulse or mix briefly to incorporate.  Add in the egg and mix until the dough forms a cohesive mass.
  3. Scoop between 2 tsp to a scant tbsp of batter {depending on how large you want them} onto the baking sheet.  Continue scooping, spacing the dough balls a couple of inches apart.  With moistened fingers, gently press down on the dough balls to flatten slightly.  Bake for 9-11 minutes {closer to 9 minutes for smaller cookies}, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack and let cool completely until the cookies are firm and set.  Be sure the cookies are completely cooled before filling.
  4. To make the filling, combine the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth.  Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla extract.
  5. To assemble the cookies, pair them up by size.  Use a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip to pipe a swirl of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie and press down so that the filling reaches the edges.

Yield: 20 to 30 sandwich cookies, depending on the size

Source & Recipe: Smells Like Home

Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday…. what are your Halloween plans?! Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have a great week everyone!

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Halloween Candy Bark

Tra-la-la… I can’t even begin to express how excited I am that we are just reaching Halloween, and making the turn toward Thanksgiving and Christmas! I like Halloween okay, but love the rest of the holidays. I generally don’t get too into “Halloween” baking, but this month have way too many ideas in my head. With the craziness of school and my internship, I hardly have time for the weeknight baking I used to do so I am always looking for quickie recipes. This is definitely one of those!

I am sure most people who live in large trick-or-treating communities purchase large quantities of candy, and generally have some left over. Are you looking for a way to use leftover trick-or-treat/Halloween candy? Well, look no further! I have had my eye on this recipe all year but haven’t been able to convince myself it was necessary to make until now. And to my surprise, this recipe is so yummy – not overly sweet as you would assume, but most of all – simple. Now that I know how simple it is to make candy bark I am going to try different combinations. I think this would be really yummy with candy corn added as well!

The recipe makes quite a bit – so we decided to share some with our friends. It makes a super cute gift, just wrap up in treat bags, tie with cute ribbon and keep refrigerated until gifting time!

Cute, right?

Halloween Candy Bark

Ingredients:
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 Butterfinger candy bars (or 8 fun size bars), roughly chopped
3 toffee candy bars (or 6 fun size bars), roughly chopped
8 Reese cups, cut into wedges
¼ cup honey roasted peanuts
3 oz. yellow and orange peanut M&Ms, coarsely chopped
3 oz. good quality white chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Pour the chocolate over the foil and smooth into a thin layer with a spatula.

2. Evenly sprinkle the chopped candy bars, Reese cups, honey roasted peanuts, and peanut M&Ms over the melted chocolate.  Press gently to adhere the candy to the melted chocolate.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Melt the white chocolate, again using the double boiler method, until smooth. Drizzle over the chilled candy bark.  Return to the refrigerator and let chill again until the white chocolate is set, 3o minutes more.

4. Peel the sheet of chocolate away from the foil and break into irregular pieces.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Source & Recipe: Annies-Eats, originally from Bon Appetite, October 2010

Enjoy! And, I hope all you little Halloweenies have fun tomorrow! And please pray that my first graders aren’t too crazy in the morning…ahh, wish me luck.