I have always been a major nerd- something I don’t see changing anytime soon, and that’s fine by me. After a long, sweaty summer of watching Sex and the City reruns and eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream at Wakulla Springs, I’m always feeling just about ready to head back to school by the time August rolls around. My summers start off innocently and carefree enough, and I am always more than happy to lounge by the pool and read trash magazines, which after two semesters of exams is all the mental stimulation I care to take on. However, a person can only take so many consecutive days of the thermometer breaking 100 degrees, and after a couple of months, it starts to make people crazy, I’m convinced. I’m not sure of the science behind this, but I really do think extreme muggy heat is fully capable of turning even the most sane person’s head into total mush. Dripping, sweaty, cranky, mush. The result? By the end of August, I find myself craving a little order and routine, and school – where one sits in an air-conditioned room for hours, sounds pretty okay. By the way, does anyone else out there still get ridiculously excited over new notebooks and highlighter color coding systems. Um, anyone?

Anywho, moving on, lets hope this winter is one for the books – I’m so ready for sweaters and leggings and fuzzy boots and NOT sweating through my shirt by the time my 8am Spanish (yuck) class even starts.

Make these cookies for someone who is not quite so hot to trot about the first week back to school. If you are excited, they’ll just make you more so, and if you’re not….well homemade oreos never really couldn’t ever hurt. It’s a win win situation.


Homemade Oreos – from Smitten Kitchen

For the 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 cup sugar (I felt a little less would have been fine. These turned out VERY sweet, which if you like that kind of thing is great, but a little less would have been fine with me.)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
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 baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly press down the dough without flattening it too much. Bake for 9 minutes, or even less if your oven runs hot. Set out 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.