Personally I love when food bloggers share their kitchens — it’s “where the magic happens” in our world, so I figured I would share my happy place today with all of you! Ryan and I have done as much as we can with our rental condo kitchen, which isn’t too shabby considering it has probably been rented to students for the last 30 years with minimal bare-bones improvements. The rest of the kitchen has white cabinets, white counter tops, and mostly white appliances, so I did my best to bring interest to the room with my “baking nook”. Here it is!
This whole kitchen was basically decorated with my yellow KitchenAid in mind, since we all know it is the star of the show, and yellow is the best color everrr. I went with blues and greens too in order to distract Ryan from the presence of more yellow in our apartment, and so far it’s been going pretty well. Opposite my baking cabinet is a collection of baking and cooking essentials: my favorite mixing bowl, cookbooks, a pizza peel, the microwave, and of course, a bottle of Jose Cuervo. Not to mention the jungle that has seemingly invaded our kitchen, but we have to take advantage of all the natural light we can get! With all this being said, the kitchen may not be my proudest interior decorating achievement (that award probably goes to the living room), but just being in this nook makes me so happy and excited to keep baking, I love it just the same. In the meantime I’ve been designing my dream kitchen in my head, it’s all ready for construction whenever my income is no longer negative!
A lot of the items in this area are Ikea purchases — the cabinet, the wall shelves and storage unit, as well as the canisters, baskets, and planter. Let’s just say Ryan was one busy builder last summer when we moved in! They might not be the highest quality items out there, but I scoured the internet for kitchen islands and microwave stands and kept coming back to these. I absolutely love my baking cabinet, it’s the perfect size with huge, deep shelves that store all of my odds-and-ends. I may or may not have another cabinet full of baking pans, cake stands, and mixing bowls, but that’s in another part of the kitchen so we’ll ignore it for now :) I’ve included this labeled picture just in case you’re curious what’s behind those big white doors!
Now for any of you that were wondering about the canvas print hanging behind my mixer in the first picture, that’s a recent project of mine made from three of my photographs from different baking endeavors. I made the collage in Photoshop and played with the tones until it was muted enough, uploaded the image to a canvas-making website, and patiently waited for my masterpiece. It turned out just as I had hoped and I love how unique it is among a sea of common Ikea pieces. As far as the photos in the collage, the blueberry muffins can be found here, the layer cake is a variation of this one, and today I’m sharing the recipe for the homemade oreos. I wanted to make something that had a lot of contrast for the canvas, and so chocolate cookies with white filling came to mind. First off, let me say that these really don’t taste too much like oreos — the texture is spot on, and they’re super delicious, but they’re just not oreos. Crunchy chocolate sandwich cookies with white chocolate filling? Yes. But oreos? Sorry, not this time. This recipe is all over the blogosphere as “homemade oreos”, so I stuck with that title, but I don’t want to totally fool you here. Give the recipe a try anway, share them with a good friend, or just take a few pictures of them and slap them on your kitchen wall!
Recipe adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
For the cookies:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour + 3 tbsp
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (the good stuff!) + 1 tbsp
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt**
15 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 3/4″ cubes at room temperature
For the filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- Start by making the filling: in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat once boiling, and add the white chocolate. Let stand for 1 minutes, then whisk completely until all of the chocolate is melted.
- Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let stand for 6 hours, until it is thick enough to spread. (If it thickens too, just nuke it for 5 seconds)
- To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed until well mixed. With the mixer still on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time until it is all in the bowl. (The dough will be sandy at first — but don’t worry, it comes together!)
- Once the dough comes together, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and split the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough out until it its 1/8″ thick.
- Use a 2″ round cookie cutter to cut rounds from the dough, and place them 1/2-1″ apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cookies cool on them for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cookies cool completely.
- Get the filling ready by whisking it to fluff it up and then transfer it to a disposable pastry bag to pipe about 1-1/2 tsp of filling in the center of each cookie. Top cookie half with another cookie and press gently until you can see filling on all edges.
Recipe yields about 24 sandwich cookies.
**I’ve halved the salt from the original recipe — I found the saltiness way too overpowering at first, so I altered my recipe to reflect this. If you love yourself a salty cookie, add another 3/4 tsp of salt, but I recommend the smaller amount!