Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Oreos

Back in February I wanted to make Morgan some homemade oreos for his birthday. You see, with our outing of sugar he hasn't been allowed to indulge in them in quite some time. For most of us that's no big deal, but to him that's a huge deal. He has a serious fetish for oreos, and I noticed his longing looks at them in the shop as we'd pass by a display of them. I wanted to surprise him with a batch for his birthday, but unfortunately my attempts at obtaining Maple Sugar were squashed. I tried making them with stevia, which made them taste fine, but they didn't hold up for filling. Thus his impromptu cake which looked oreoish, but wasn't.

Refusing to give up, I've been playing with various natural sweeteners in our kitchen for a considerable amount of time. Not only is it fun to see how they work in various baked goods, it's also interesting to see how they all taste. Our newest sweetener is coconut sugar, which I've mentioned before. I'm enjoying using this particular sweetener when I bake biscuits (cookies) for the kids. It not only sweetens on a 1:1 ratio like sugar, but it also gives them the same texture as a biscuit made with sugar.

So this weekend I broke out the coconut sugar and decided to try a batch of oreos. Only, in case it went horribly wrong, I told the boys it was a secret snack I was working on. Using the oreo recipe from Smitten Kitchen I replaced the regular sugar with coconut sugar for the wafer part. I also threw coconut sugar in the blender (what I had left in the bag) and blended on high until it turned into powdered coconut sugar. Seriously! Then, because I had no organic shortening (does such a thing even exist? Cause, to be honst I don't even know when I last bought shortening!) I replaced the shortening with coconut sugar.

The only deal is that the creamy center will be brownish due to the hue of the coconut sugar. Depending on the time of year near you, you may need to store these in the fridge, at least until the creamy center solids up. Coconut sugar can melt or soften quite quickly. I stored them in the fridge, and they were fine out of the fridge for an hour or so. The kids, and the husband man, gobbled them up. In fact, I'm pretty sure the tin is quite completely and totally empty.


Katie said...

You can get organic shortening in most health food stores, and even in your local grocery store's organic section! It's plain old palm oil, which is similar to coconut oil, and is solid at room temperature. It's a healthy saturated oil, that you can feel good using (though some people have environmental concerns about it). Everything I have read has suggested it's pretty close to shortening in terms of performance, but much, much better for you. Give it a try sometime! I am glad to know your coconut sugar powdered in the blender. I tried to powder succanat one time, with poor results, and I'd really like a healthy powdered sugar to us in a homemade nutella recipe! :D I have made homemade oreos before, which were quite yummy, using the same recipe from Smitten Kitchen! Glad you enjoyed them too!

Kendra said...

Very interesting.. I may have to look next time I go into the big city. They have a much larger organic/health food store over there. I was really happy with the powdered coconut sugar too! It'll be fun to use it for the kids birthday cakes. I just need to get my hands on some of the natural food colourings! All though if you're okay with it I know you can get organic powdered sugar, but we react poorly with it.. just the same as we would if we were eating cane sugar. We also can't have succanat for the same reason though..

Kylie said...

wow these look fabulous! So can you use Coconut sugar in place of regular sugar 1:1 in all baking then? Does it have a cocnutty taste?

Just as an aside (I don't knwo enough about this but thought I would mention) the latest Australian Natural Health Mag has an article on Palm Oil and their take on it - although it does contain some healthy antioxidants it is still a saturated fat and the antioxidants are unstable so when heated they are lost. The environmental impact in Malaysais is significant they are talking of the Orangutan being wiped out if they don't stop the deforestation. Researchers beleive that within 15 years 98% of Malayasias rainforests will be gone.

As I said I don't know enough but taht article was quite scary so thought I would pass it on.

Kendra said...

Kylie, yes, you can use it 1:1 in all baking. For the most part I only use it in biscuits because my stevia or honey work well in everything else. I just find the texture quite altered in some biscuits. No, no coconut flavor in it at all. It tastes really yummy though, like toffee.

I've heard that about the Palm before, I think it might have been my MIL who was telling me. The coconut that I'm getting all comes from Indonesia and is suppose to be a sustainable source.

I do know that Maple Sugar would work well and there are at least two sources for it in Melbourne, BUT because it's shipped in from Canada it's very costly for a very scant amount. Bummer. Date sugar can also be used, but I can't seem to find it at all within Australia and I'm not suppose to be eating dates right now (migraine issues) so.. coconut sugar it is! lol

I guess if I do find organic shortening (I'm not sure what I'd use it for aside from this one recipe) I'd have to read the label carefully..

Kylie said...

Great thanks Kendra, I'll check out Flannery's when I am next there. :)

Tracey said...

Looks delicious!