Looking for a something fun and yummy to bake with your kids — especially during the COVID-19 quarantine? Look no further than homemade Oreo cookies! Local dad of two Kieron Hales, chef at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Ann Arbor, offers up this delicious recipe that makes 20 cookie sandwiches.
“With both our 5- and 7-year-old boys home from school, and my wife Joanie and I are constantly looking for ways to entertain them outside of plopping them down in front of the TV,” Hales shares on the Zingerman’s blog. His solution?
“Rather than making a mess playing elsewhere in the house, we just choose to make a mess while playing in the kitchen!” he tells Metro Parent. “When we cook or bake together, my boys learn where their food comes from, get hands-on math and science practice and, most importantly, have some fun.”
Try for yourself with his delicious recipe. Along the way, he peppers in tips for how your kids can get involved with you in the kitchen — just like the Hales brothers, Henry, 7, and Owen, 5.
- Large bowl with spoon or stand mixer
- 18-inch straight rolling pin
- 18-by-13 inch sheet tray
- Parchment paper
- Round cookie cutter
- Star Wars cookie cutters (or shapes of your choice)
- Medium digital scale or micro scale (optional)
- Rolling mat (optional)
- Rolling guides (optional)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (salted is OK)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (salted is OK)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract or essence
Make the cookies
- In a large bowl with the spoon or with the stand mixer, blend together butter with sugar and salt, until light and fluffy. Your kids can help measure out your ingredients, and it is a great opportunity to practice their math skills.
- Beat in eggs until fully incorporated. My kids love cracking eggs, but oftentimes we get a few bits of shell in the bowl. By wetting your finger with a bit of water, you can more easily pick out any shell.
- Use a sieve to sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda into a bowl and mix fully. Everyone can participate in shaking the sieve!
- Using a dessert spoon, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined. Be sure to supervise this if using the stand mixer, as you do not want your spoon to hit the blade.
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface and form a large ball.
- Divide into 4 individual balls, flattening them to flat disks about 1 inch thick.
- Wrap 4 dough disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Now it’s time to clean up! My boys love this part more than the baking itself. Let’s just say there are a lot of soap bubbles involved.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Remove one batch of dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. We love to use these rolling mats and guides for easy rolling and clean up.
- Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. My kids love rolling out the dough. Just remember to help them rotate it in between rolls.
- Using a 2 3/4-inch cookie cutter, cut the dough into individual rounds and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray, leaving at least 1/2 inch between each cookie. Don’t have any cookie cutters? Try using a ball jar lid instead.
- With the scraps, re-form into a ball then re-roll it out to cut additional cookies. Repeat with this process with each batch of dough.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.
Make the filling
While your cookies are baking, it’s time to make the filling. Combine the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl or the stand mixer. Beat together until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
Your kids can help measure out your ingredients. Whether you are using cups or a scale, it’s a great opportunity to practice some math.
Assemble the cookies
- Remove cookies from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Leave until cool — or until the kids can’t take it anymore. For us, this lasts about 12 minutes!
- To assemble the cookies, take a generous teaspoon of filling and spread it out on top of one of your cookies. Sandwich another cookie on top and give it a light squeeze. Repeat this process until there are no cookies left. Everyone can participate in this process. A few cookies may break, and a few may be eaten, but that’s all part of the fun.
- Time to eat! Serve up your cookies with a chilled glass of milk and enjoy.