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{mini desserts} homemade oreos

Tuesday, October 26

At one point, in my former life, many years ago...
I used to do educational classes for elementary school children. (K thru 3)
What does this have to do with Homemade Oreos?
Be patient and keep reading...*wink*

The concept of the educational classes was basically to bring a 30 minute field trip experience to the classroom.
I had different themes focused on a particular topic and I would come dressed the part to coordinate with the theme.
I would also always leave behind a coordinating treat for the teachers and a simple snack for the kids.
One of the educational programs I offered was called "Penguins and Polar Bears".
I would come dressed as a Penguin...(oh pictures of that to share with you). *wink*
As you can imagine, the kids LOVED it.
But what the teachers especially loved were the treats I left behind for them.
I had searched for something I could make that was black and white (to go with the theme)...
and I found a simple, yet tasty recipe for some delicious treats I appropriately titled: "Polar Pies".
My two older girls, Clara and Ema, always got to sample the treats...
and we discovered they were quite tasty frozen - which REALLY took the "polar pie" concept to an entirely new level.

It'd been YEARS since I made them.
First of all, I'd forgotten about the recipe until the girls started asking about them one day.
I couldn't find the recipe. (even after climbing into the attic to search the archives). *wink*
With my girls' ongoing requests...
and the resurgence of whoopie pies running rampant in the dessert/dessert table world...
I figured now was the time to start the search online.
I was thrilled to have found it even though I had no idea as to what they were originally called: Homemade Oreos

I immediately made a first batch last week...

I have to tell you...
the treats I used to make for the teachers were SERIOUS treats...4" wide seriousness.
The photo above are cookies from the first batch I made last week, which were the size of regular store-bought oreos.
taking things to an entirely new level...
And because I love to mini-size everything...
the girls and I created a mini-sized version to enjoy at our slumber party over the weekend:

measuring only 1" wide, these mini treats are ADORABLE!
But what makes these tasty, brownie-like morsels with a cream cheese filling even sweeter...
they are SO simple to make!!

What you'll need:

Cookie Ingredients
1 package of devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil see update below 

I've updated the suggested oil amount after having received feedback from a reader (Amanda) about the mix being too oily.

I retested the recipe using the same box mix I've always used and I too had issues with it being too oily.
The only thing I can think of is that either the cake mix formula or the amount of actual cake mix in the box has changed over the years (the first time I made these was 8+ years ago). To accommodate these changes (and perhaps future changes),  I suggest you start with the amount of oil called for on the box of the cake mix you purchase. If you find after mixing the dough that it's not quite pliable enough, add another 1 TBSP. of oil to the mix. The cake mix should roll easily into balls and your hands will have a slight sheen from the oil in the dough. (you should not have oil dripping through your fingertips or pooling at the bottom of your bowl). Yuck! Thanks for your feedback Amanda - and for calling to my attention your personal experience/results.

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (softened)
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar (I used 3.5 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Alternative Vanilla Cream Filling Ingredients (I've never tried this one but figured I would post it)
1/4 cup room-temp, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2-3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cookie Instructions
Heat oven to 350°.
Add oil and eggs to cake mix and blend together. (See HELPFUL HINTS)
Roll dough into 1/2" balls for mini oreos. (1" for oreo-sized cookies up to 2 1/2" for jumbo size). (See HELPFUL HINTS)
Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. (See HELPFUL HINTS)
Remove from oven and let cool for 1 min.
Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling Instructions
Cream butter.
Add cream cheese and mix well.
Add vanilla, stirring until well blended.
Slowly add confectioner's sugar until desired consistency is reached. (I used 3 1/2 cups)

Alternative Vanilla Cream Filling Instructions
Cream butter and shortening together.
Add vanilla extract and confectioner's sugar slowly - until desired consistency is reached.

Assembling the cookies:
Fill pastry bag or gallon size ziploc bag with filling. (See HELPFUL HINTS)
Sandwich two cookies together by squeezing 1 tsp. (or so) of the filling onto the center of one cookie.
Add the 2nd cookie on top.
Lightly press the two cookies together to help the filling spread evenly to the sides of the cookie without spilling over the edges. (unless you prefer it).

You can either serve them as-is or freeze them for a frozen treat.
You can also make-ahead, freeze and bring to room temperature on the day of your event/party.

Using a mixer, I use my paddle attachment and blend until the dough comes clean from the side of the bowl.
Although it's recommended to use a greased cookie sheet for baking, I skip that part and mine are fine.
If the dough seems too sticky to work with, I have found by letting the dough sit while you make the filling, works like a charm.
Instead of piping the filling, you can also just use a butter knife and spread it on.
If you are going to eat these as a frozen treat, I found that by reducing the baking time by a minute or so will allow for a less crunchy frozen treat experience. Basically, you want a softer cookie before freezing so that you can easily bite into the frozen treat and enjoy a less "crumbly" experience.

So whether you call these "Polar Pies", "Homemade Oreos" or some clever name you come up with on your own...
And whether or not you choose to enjoy these frozen or at room temperature...
With only a few simple ingredients, you are just minutes away from "Mmmm....good"

wouldn't these be PERFECT for your Halloween dessert table?

They'd be perfect for ANY dessert table actually.
And you COULD go crazy and tint the filling to coordinate with your event?!

Other Uses:
Party favors - bag them up either jumbo sized or as minis.

I would've liked to have photographed the first batch and the minis together so you could see the size difference.
However, the first batch was long gone before the minis had been baked.
And I'd like to think the kids could be blamed for most of that...*wink*


Michelle said...

ooohhh, these look delish!!!! And the best part about it is that they sound so simple to make... Must try these for sure, thanks for sharing!!!

Victoria said...

These look amazing- YUM!

Anonymous said...

YUM! those look so good!!!

Save the Date for Cupcakes said...

So tiny and cute! I love mini desserts!

postcards and pretties said...

those looks delicious {i'm saying this while I dunk my store bought oreos in milk} ;)

Moore Minutes said...

Wow! Those are very tiny...I had no idea. They sound delicious. And your photography is always so beautiful.

Me and my lil chef said...

I tried these today and the mini ones were so cute and easier to eat as a snack. Going to freeze some for Christmas. I did a batch using peppermint extract instead of vanilla and crushed up some peppermint candies and rolled the sides of the cookies in it. Great for Christmas!!! Thanks for this recipe, they were a hit here in Oregon!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great feedback everyone!

2 Creative Chiks - what a GREAT idea for Christmas! The peppermint extract and candies are an adorable idea!!! Thanks for coming back to comment and leave your sweet feedback.

Sugar n' Spice said...

omg those mini Oreo Cookies look DELIGHTFUL!!! Can't wait to bake up a batch SHORTLY!!!
Thanks a bundle

Amanda said...

Hi....I tried this recipe and it didn't really work out for me. The batter was way too sticky to be able to roll into balls, in the end I had to powder my hands with confectioners sugar to make each ball. Time consuming and messy. There was also way more filling than there were cookies to fill. Any ideas what went wrong. I followed the recipe to the T.

Unknown said...

Hi Amanda...

I'm so sorry to hear you had a negative experience making these. I've personally made these so many times and have never had an issue with the results. In fact, because they are so easy, it's one of my main reasons for sharing it. I'm so bummed you found them to be time-consuming and messy.

As silly as this may sound, I can tell you the temperature of your kitchen or even the humidity (or lack there of) can definitely play a role in the outcome of all of your baking. I live in Florida - not sure where you are located.

There have been times when my batter/dough ended up being a bit more sticky than other times. My fix for that was just letting it sit - without touching it - while I made the filling.

I've had friends rave about this recipe and you are my first complaint. (But I don't like ANY complaints so since it's been awhile since I've made them, I'm going to make it a point to bake some this week and make any notes for you that may or may not effect your outcome). I'll be back soon!!

Pen + Paper Flowers said...

Amanda - this post is especially for you.
I finally found time to make these again and ran into the same issue you mentioned.

I used the same cake mix I've always used and they were literally dripping with oil. Although they still baked up okay, they were flat as a pancake.

The only thing I can come up with is that the cake mix formula has changed over the years. Perhaps there's not even as much in the box as there used to be? I'm not sure.

So here's what I ended up doing. I used the same amount of oil the directions on the cake box called for and then added an extra TBSP of oil. So for the particular cake mix I used, it called for 1/3 cup oil. I added 1/3 cup oil and then an 1 extra TBSP of oil. They came out perfectly.

I'm going to recommend that everyone try this.
Since all cake mixes are a bit different and I'm not privy to cake mix formulas changing, I think we should all use the recommended amount of oil on the box plus and then add some extra if necessary.

I hope that helps.
I've updated the post to reflect the changes and thank you so much for sharing your results with me.

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