Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Graham Crackers and Oreos

I believe Donna Reed, June Cleaver and every 1950's housewife smiled upon me today, while Gloria Steinem and the other radical feminists of the 20th century mocked me for my cooking endeavors. Nevertheless, today I made graham crackers and Oreos... I know. Ridiculous.
I should have been a woman in 1954... I would have found some handsome man to marry me and I could have hung around in a kitchen making donuts and truffles all day. Oh well.
I haven't tried the graham crackers yet (I'm waiting for a dark chocolate s'more tonight!) but the recipe's been begging for an attempt since I read it on VeganYumYum. Although I still find omitting honey from my diet somewhat laughable (are the bees really complaining?!) it is not vegan, thereby making graham crackers non-vegan. All for the best; they're usually loaded with HFCS and other nonsense that modern American society claims standard. (I'm off my soapbox.) To see the recipe, head to VeganYumYum, the first vegan cooking blog I ever read, with "to die for" recipes and pictures.

The Oreos, however, were all me. Well, the cookie was. The buttercream is the standard recipe found on the internet. The neighbor kids came over yesterday and we decided to bake cupcakes. I had a small bowl-ful of leftover frosting and conjured an urge to make Oreos. I really love Oreos- something I never thought I'd say, but it's true. Unbelievably, they're vegan, which makes me more scared because of what's in that deliciously naughty creme filling- more HFCS, for sure!
I made the cookies off of several recipes. There are a ton of chocolate cookie recipes out there, ranging from cake box mix to a more complex Italian style. I opted for a somewhat simple recipe. Of course, I substituted eggs with flax, and let me say, why is flax so amazing?! There is no need for eggs in baking when one can throw a tablespoon of flax and some water into a cookie- seriously.
Alright, get on your aprons, pearls and your 1950's heels and get in that kitchen and bake some "better for you than the packaged junk, but still not healthy" cookies. (See the Oreo recipe below.)

1 1/3 cups Brown Rice flour (you could use any kind... this is what I had on hand.)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups turbinado sugar (same rules apply for sugar... use any kind.)
9 tablespoons room temp earth balance
1 tablespoon flax and 4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.
In a bowl mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. While an electric mixer, add the butter, flax, water and vanilla. Beat until combined. It may be a bit crumbly, but that's okay-it will come together. Drop rounded teaspoons (best with a melon baller) of batter onto pizza stones- or lined cookie sheets. Make sure cookies are in ball shapes and press down with palm of hand. Bake for 8-9 minutes. It's hard to tell when the cookies are done because they're dark, but do not let them crack. This will make them difficult to sandwich.
Make cream filling while cookies are baking and cooling.
*Let cookies cool completely before sandwiching*
After the cookies have cooled on a rack, turn one upside down and place about 1-2 tablespoons, or more if desired, buttercream onto cookie. Spread like butter on bread. Place another cookie on top to create a sandwich. The frosting should be thick, but not overwhelming: you want to be able to see it!
When you've made all the sandwiches, place cookies in a tupperware container- do not overlap- and stick them in the freezer to set. You can serve them frozen or thawed.

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