DIY Food

How to Make Homemade Oreos

October 10, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home. 

Today: Pour yourself a tall glass of milk, and prepare to dunk, because Lillie Auld of Butter Me Up Brooklyn is showing you how to make chocolate sandwich cookies.  

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Tucked away in the corner of my grandmother's kitchen, there was an old, heavy ceramic cookie jar. It had a cracked lid that had been glued together too many times to count, thanks to all the tiny hands (mine included) that had attempted to lift it only to have it slip and fall on the floor. That crashing sound would rudely announce to the aunts and mothers, who were distracted with various cooking tasks, that a pre-dinner cookie heist was underway.

But when my grip on the lid was strong enough, the reward was an overwhelming bounty of Oreo cookies. Here, I've updated the classic sandwich cookie with a hearty swig of bourbon for a boozy touch -- but just to keep everyone happy, this recipe is designed so that half the filling stays booze-free. I usually steer clear of vegetable shortening in my baking, but in this recipe it really is essential to make the filling creamy and smooth. If you are truly averse, however, butter is a fine substitute.

Bourbon-O's (Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Bourbon Cream)

Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies 

For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups plus 1/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bourbon

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until combined, then add the egg and the vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and gently press it into a disk. Refrigerate it for at least an hour and up to several days.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, dusting with more flour if needed, until it is 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Use a round 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to stamp out as many cookies as possible, then reroll the scraps as necessary. You should get about 48 cookies, which will make 2 dozen sandwiches.

Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the tops have set and no longer look wet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filliing. In a large bowl, beat together butter and shortening until combined. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat for several minutes until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and seeds and mix until incorporated.

Transfer about half the filling to a small bowl -- reserve this as your booze-free filling. Add the bourbon and the remaining 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to the rest of the filling and beat until combined -- this is your boozy filling. 

Use an offset spatula to spread a small amount of frosting on the bottom side of half of the cookies. 

Place the remaining cookies on top and gently squeeze each sandwich together to spread the filling to the edges. Filled cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Lillie Auld 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Hillary MacIntosh
    Hillary MacIntosh
  • Kim vermeiren
    Kim vermeiren
  • Marnie642
  • molly yeh
    molly yeh
  • Sietske van Schaik
    Sietske van Schaik
I was born and raised in Seattle. I moved to New York in 2004, and it has been a love/hate relationship ever since. I moved to Brooklyn in 2010. I have no idea what took me so long. Brooklyn is filled with awesomeness. I love all things made with butter, drinking bourbon, and wearing leggings. I do not own a Kitchen Aid mixer (because I haven’t gotten married yet) or have one single drawer in my kitchen (the joys of apartment life) and my counter can’t accommodate a rolling pin without hitting the stove. Yet, somehow baked goods and other kitchen treats make it out alive to butter y’all up. Please email me at [email protected]


Hillary M. January 15, 2015
Do the cookies spread much when baked? I have some tubular containers from powdered drink mixes--for storage and shipping to family. My cutters are the right size w/slight spread allowance--oval and round.
Kim V. October 10, 2014
Hii! Where I live (Belgium) our cocoa powder seems to be a lot stronger than the cocoa you have in the US. I've exchanged cocoa powder with a friend who lives in the US. US cocoa seems to be much lighter in color and when a US recipe asks for an amount of cocoa, my end result usually comes of to strong. Would you still recommend this amount of cocoa powder when using a strong version of it.

I also wonder about the vegetable shortening, what makes it better compared to creamery butter?
Sietske V. October 10, 2014
I'm Dutch, living in the US. Dutch (and probably Belgian) cocoa is treated with alkali, causing it to be stronger in flavor. You can exchange a little flour for cocoa to reduce the cocoa, or shop around and see if you can find a brand without alkali. You may be able to find natural cocoa at a health food store, which is what American cocoa is.

Vegetable shortening can be replaced with coconut oil or butter, you could try Ossewit (lard) I believe it has a fairly neutral flavor. Solid 'frituurvet' is similar to vegetable shortening. I know it's hard to find these days due to the trans fats in it.

You just want a solid neutral tasting fat with a fairly low meltingpoint.
holly D. October 12, 2014
I use dutch processed cocoa (with alkali) in all of my baking even though I live in the US. I never lessen the amount called for in any recipe, and it always turns out better than the same recipe with traditional U.S cocoa. Many Americans do not use dutch processed cocoa, but
Marnie642 October 10, 2014
Looks tasty. Why shortening in the frosting, instead of just butter?
molly Y. October 10, 2014
i am so thankful that these exist
Author Comment
buttermeupbk October 14, 2014
yay!! bourbon makes everything better.