06 July 2021: Joanne Chang’s Homemade Oreos (egg-free style)

Flour Bakery + Cafe Homemade Oreos – egg-free version

My favorite stop for a quick(er) bite in Boston is Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery + Cafe. I think I’ve been to all of them at one time or another! And a natural follow-on for those times when I can’t get into the City (looking at YOU COVID), has been to bake from one of Joanne Chang’s fabulous cookbooks.

This weekend I decided to make some cookies for a family get-together, and, as our granddaughter has an egg allergy, I wanted to make something she could eat as well. With just one egg in the recipe, the Flour Bakery Oreos seemed like it could withstand an egg substitution without totally compromising quality.

For the most part I think it did. This egg-free version is made with Bob’s Egg Replacer in place of the single egg called for in the original recipe. Just a warning that this may have made the cookie even more fragile, so lots of care needed in assembly. And maybe a little more practice on my part in getting that perfectly round shape of the Flour Bakery + Cafe version.

Ingredients

For the cookie

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted & cooled slightly
  • 1 egg (substituted 1 TBSP Bob’s Egg Replacer + 2 TBSP water per package; “flax eggs” also a possibility)
  • 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) unbleached AP flour
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the Vanilla Cream Filling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups (230 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Method

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate. Add the egg or egg substitute and whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt & baking soda until well mixed. Stir the flour into the chocolate mixture. (JBC’s note is that this mix will seem like it is too flour-y & one may need to mix with hands. It’s OK-getting messy is fun!) Let the dough sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Transfer the dough to a 15-inch square of parchment. Use your hands, shape the dough into a rough log about 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place the log at the edge of the parchment and roll the parchment around the log. Now roll the log to be smoother, keeping the 2 1/2 inch diameter.
  4. Refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours or until firm – check every 15 minutes or so in case the log may need to be re-shaped/re-rolled. (See JBC notes on freezing/thawing dough at this point)
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a baking sheet or line with parchment – I needed 3 cookie pans.
  6. Slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place on the cookie sheet about an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch (JBC notes that you should start checking on the cookies at 16 minutes – I found I only needed 18 minutes per bake to get the cookies to this point). Cool in the pan – be aware that the cookies are quite fragile at this point.
  8. Make the filling: Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on low speed for 30 seconds or until completely soft and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla – beat until perfectly smooth. Add the milk and salt and again beat until smooth (JBC notes this may look like putty.)
  9. Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling onto the bottom of one cookie (At this point, I switched to a pastry bag because it felt like there was a little more control over filling distribution). Top with a second cookie, bottom-side down. The press the cookies (GENTLY!!!) together to spread the filling toward the edges. Continue until all of the cookies have been filled.

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