I went back to work today. I’m lucky that I was able to spend 5 months home with my baby. But it still wasn’t long enough. I would happily be a stay at home wife and mother for the rest of my life, cooking and baking, cleaning and taking care of my family. I feel like a minority these days. Like I am somehow different then the women my age. Hearing women complain about motherhood. Moaning about sleepless nights, begging for a night away. Hearing “just wait…” Or “good luck..” Dripped with sarcasm. It has somehow become the norm to resent your baby, mourn your independence and even at times wish you never had that child. I simply don’t get it. Is it because of everything we went through to get where we are? To almost loose her when we just met her? Because we planned for her for an entire year before she was conceived? Because we waited until we were 30 to do this whole parenting thing? I can whole heartedly say I love being a mother. I don’t miss anything about my former life. I remember always feeling like I was searching for something before she came along. Like something was missing. I thought it was a career, a job with purpose and meaning. But it turns out it wasn’t. All along it was her. I look at her and wonder what I did before she came along. I think I watched waaaayy too much tv.
I will admit accomplishing anything is a bit more difficult with a baby. But I seem to be able to balance it, and each day it gets easier to do so. I’ve been cooking and baking as much as ever lately. The week leading up to today was done so by baking cookies, mostly chocolate. I thought I would make my husband happy and revisit the homemade Oreos I made him for his 30th birthday. But I decided I try a number of different fillings for myself. My two favorites ended up being cream cheese frosting and a combo of caramel, peanut butter and Nutella. Do you see a theme lately? I’m slightly obsessed with the caramel, peanut butter and Nutella combo. So much so that I’ve made my husband make me a Cold Stone style sundae with coffee ice cream regularly. It’s pretty amazing.
Homemade Oreos are different then store bought. Better. My husband might even agree with me, which says a lot, considering how much this guy loves Oreos. Seriously he will demolish an entire package of Oreos in 24 hours. It’s kind of insane. So in my attempts to get him to be healthy in some way, shape or form, I decided homemade Oreos are the lesser of two evils. Plus I needed to bake off some tension. I highly recommend this recipe. Even if you’re not an Oreo fan, try different filling combinations, and you will be sold on these cookies. They’re a super easy, non fussy cookie which is always a plus. If you can find it, black cocoa powder will give you the signature Oreo color. I promise, these cookies are as alluring to a grown up as an Oreo is to a five year old.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen– Adapted from Retro Desserts, Wayne Brachman
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies
For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.