Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homemade Oreos

Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

Chocolate Wafers:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.
*These are very sweet cookies--I definitely need to give them another go around before I get them to how they are supposed to be.  I made the wafers too big and flattened them to flat.  I also just spread the frosting on one cookie and then topped it with another.  Nonetheless, they were gone within a day!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

From My Kitchen Cafe


3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (may also use boneless pork loin – not tenderloin )
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups water
1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
2 cups
barbecue sauce
Rinse the pork shoulder and pat dry. Rub salt and pepper over the pork and place in a slow cooker. Add water and liquid smoke. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, until the pork is very tender.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid. Shred the pork using a couple of forks. Place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again. Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce.
*I loved the liquid smoke--just the touch I've been looking for!

Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cups unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
4 teaspoons hickory flavored liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all the wet ingredients and then add the seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, preferably more, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it simmers (and then as it cools). 
Use the sauce to brush onto meats the last ten minutes of grilling or for any other recipe where barbecue sauce is used.
Once cooled, the sauce can be frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator and use as needed.
*I used this to make pulled pork sandwiches.  My expectations may have been a little high--I was expecting everyone at my table to drool over dinner, husband volunteer to wash all the dishes, children happily put themselves to bed because their bellies were deliciously full--it didn't happen that way.  I still liked it though, and will use this again.