Cook the Book: Gluten-Free Oreos

"I'm not sure that this mix of Crisco, sugar, and vanilla extract is that much better for you than the original Oreo filling but I felt better seeing exactly what went into it."

Photograph from hangishh on Flickr

20090810easyglutenfreebaking.jpgHave you ever wondered what the "creme" filling in the center of an Oreo is made out of? I won't go as far as saying the question has plagued me, but it's come pretty close. Oreos are delicious--I think that pretty much everyone can get behind that. Unfortunately, one look at the ingredients can put you off of them for a good long while. They are full of scary chemicals and weird oils. Why is the filling so good? It's probably best we don't know.

Elizabeth Barbone has included a chapter in her book Easy Gluten-Free Baking called "Tastes Like" where she attempts to replicate mass-produced snacks such as Twinkies and Samoas (the Girl Scout cookie) using gluten-free ingredients.

I love Oreos but quite frankly, I don't feel very good about eating them. I decided to make these gluten-free Oreos at home to see how they measured up.

The first step was making the cookie dough. After assembling it, I was nervous--it was kind of a sticky mess. The dough needs to chill for at least four hours, so into the fridge it went.

After a nice long chill for the dough (and for myself) I took it out and formed the cookies. The dough was still pretty sticky but not so much that it was an issue. I popped them into the oven and 10 minutes later, the chocolatey aroma and dry look that Barbone wrote about in the recipe were evident. While I waited for the cookie to cool, I whipped up the filling.

I'm not sure that this mix of Crisco, sugar, and vanilla extract is that much better for you than the original Oreo filling but I felt better seeing exactly what went into it. Out of all of the recipes I've now tried from Easy Gluten-Free Baking, these Oreos are my favorite. The cookies have a great chewy and almost cakey quality and are plenty chocolatey. The filling? In a word, fantastic--even better than the Oreo "creme."

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Cook the Book: Gluten-Free Oreos

About This Recipe

Yield:about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into eight pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Filling
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening (if you can't tolerate shortening, use 4 tablespoons butter)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedures

  1. 1

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dry ingredients. Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until no large pieces of butter remain. Add the egg and milk. MIx until a dough forms. (The dough should form a ball and "swirl" around the bowl of the food processor.) If the dough is dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk and mix to form a dough.

  2. 2

    Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a round. Wrap each dough tightly in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 4 hours or over night.

  3. 3

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set pan aside.

  4. 4

    Remove dough from refrigerator. White rice flour your countertop and roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. (Remember, you will be sandwiching two cookies together. You don't want the individual cookies too thick.) Cut the dough into rounds using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. (If you have a fluted cookie cutter, use it. It will make the cookie look more like an Oreo.)

  5. 5

    Place the dough on a prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about two inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are aromatic. (Cookies will look "dry" and smell very chocolatey.)

  6. 6

    Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. 7

    For the filling: In a small bowl, cream together all ingredients until smooth. (Use medium-high speed on handheld and stand mixers.) Mixture will be thick.

  8. 8

    Spread the filling on half of the cooled cookies.

  9. 9

    Top with the remaining cookies.

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