I still can't believe I'm leaving for IU in 13 days. Oh god, 13 days. At the beginning of the summer 3 months felt like they would last a lifetime, but lo and behold the trips to London, Arkansas, and New York, along with all the other small happenings I had to look forward to this summer have come and gone and the days left in my vacation from school are waning fast. Now I feel like my last two weeks are a frantic attempt to cram in as many activities as I can. What people do I want to see before I move out? What restaurants do I want to visit for what seems like the last time? What foods do I want to knock of my mental list of 'Things to Bake' before I'm hopelessly kitchenless?
Finally, as time runs short, some friends and I have scheduled a day trip to Turkey Run that we talked about before school even let out but have thus far failed to actually follow through with. We were all recruited to bring different food items to refuel between bouts of canoeing, hiking, and swimming. Naturally, my brain immediately thought 'DESSERT!' :D Unfortunately I can't take my favorites, neither layer cakes, pies, or cheesecakes sound very camping-friendly. I was forced to consider more finger friendly options: cookies, bars, brownies, cupcakes.
Bar and brownies are just fine, especially for the less than enthusiastic baker in a time of need. Directions are generally as follows: mix, pour, bake, cut. So simple. (Unless you're me, then brownies and bars are a game of 'how many extra ingredients can I fit in this batter without it exploding in the oven?') Drop cookies can be ok, cut-outs are time consuming, and my obsession with detail and eagerness to go over the top on everything make cupcakes a nightmare. I've made countless variations of all of the above, but ended up finding one that I had never tried before.
Sandwich cookies. I think my favorite thing about these is you get two cookies in one package! I had been surfing smittenkitchen.com for inspiration and discovered a recipe for homemade oreos. I immediately decided I need not look any further! Who doesn't love oreos? So I went to town crafting thin chocolate cookies, doubling the recipe so that my family would have their own plateful to snack on while I tote the rest to Turkey Run this weekend. So... many... cookies. And the worst part was I couldn't just spoon them on the cookie sheet! No, I was forced to roll out and flatten teaspoon sized balls of my cookie dough. Turns out there were a whole lot of teaspoons in two batches of the chocolate stuff. Luckily, lots of batter means lots of cookies!!!
Everyone knows the best part of Oreos is the filling in the middle and my cookies would certainly not be complete without big dollops of vanilla creme. I whipped up a batch of what essentially was vanilla butter cream frosting to pipe onto half the cookies.
I topped the dolloped cookies off with another cookie (to complete the whole sandwich effect) and ended up with a plateful of wonderfully rustic 'Oreos.' Yum.
I only assembled half the cookies at first, waiting to add frosting to the other half until closer to the Turkey Run venture. On the first batch I used the recipe provided on the smitten kitchen site (which by the way is... http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/05/my-kingdom-for-a-glass-of-milk/) but refused to eat any myself because the creme contains one of my least favorite ingredients. Vegetable shortening. Ewwwwwwww. In my house, where Oreos come, peanut butter follows, so on the second batch I decided to experiment a little and replace the shortening laced vanilla creme with peanut butter butter cream frosting. I think they turned out the better of the two and would highly recommend trying any version of a peanut butter filling. Then again, I'll put peanut butter on anything...