When it comes to cookies, everybody knows that Oreos are the HBIC. But Oreo cookie dough in stores isn’t a thing. (Why?) So unless you have a package on hand, when a hankering for the black and white cookies strikes, you either have to put on pants and drag yourself to the store or suffer by trying to satisfy your craving with chocolate chips in the cabinet instead. Right? Maybe not.
The other day I was going through some serious Oreo withdrawal while also dealing with a serious case of not-wanting-to-leave-the-out-itis. Since baking from scratch and knowing what chemicals are and aren’t going into my bodies makes me happy, I decided to see there was a way to make Oreos from home. Turns out, there is! Here’s how it’s done, folks.
Step 1: Assemble your squad.
I found a recipe for DIY oreos online and slightly adapted it based on what I had in my cabinets, because again, avoiding the store = just as important as having the cookies.
Here’s what you’ll need (and probably already have on hand).
For the cookies:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick softened salted butter (or 1 stick unsalted butter and ½ tsp salt)
For the filling:
1 stick softened unsalted butter
2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Step 2: Get the dry ingredients together.
Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking power (and salt if you’re using unsalted butter) together in a bowl. If no one’s around, you can talk to yourself like you’re on a cooking show. You know, for funsies.
Step 3: Get wet.
Add the egg and softened butter and beat until combined. If you registered for one of those fancy stand mixers, now is an excellent time to drag it out of the closet. If not, use a hand mixer. If you don’t have one, turn on some Bey, grab a fork, and just go for it. This took a really long time. Like so long I wasn’t sure I’d ever have an actual dough and not just what looked like a pile of wet dirt, but after 5 minutes or so of beating it finally came together.
Step 4: Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Clear a space on your counter and plop your dough ball between two large sheets of parchment paper, or if you’re fancy, on a silpat. Now, roll it out super thin, like 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick. My dough was pretty sticky, and I was ready to toss my blob of brown sadness in the trash and head out to the gas station for a sleeve of the real deal. But I decided to stick it out, because I really hate zippers, and because I figured I had to be close to done, right? Turns out I had not idea how thin 1/8 of an inch actually is, so I had to grab a ruler from my tub of office stuff. It’s really, really thin. These cookies better be next level, because this is a lot of work.
Step 5: Chill
Literally. You stick the rolled out dough in the freezer for 15 minutes and just go wait. I don’t have the patience for this. By now, I could have gone to the store, come home, and destroyed and entire container of actual Oreos plus two glasses of milk.
After you’re done with your “time-out,” preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 6: Cut out the cookies.
Cut out your cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter. This part was actually really fun, like back when I was a little kid and played with Play-Doh. It didn’t totally make up for the fact that I just wanted to eat cookies already, but I was momentarily distracted and willing to keep going with the experiment.
Step 7: Bake!
Bake the cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets for about 9 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
Step 8: It’s filling time!
While the cookies are cooling, assemble your filling. Combine the other stick of butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with a mixer—or get ready to get really sweaty again and use a spoon. Maybe I was just really cranky because I was beyond ready for cookies to be done, but once again, I was skeptical about this filling coming together. It seemed to take a few minutes for the sugar and butter to combine, but it got there, so don’t give up! Oh, and don’t dump the sugar all in at once. Do it a little at a time, otherwise it flies out of the mixer, and you feel like you’re in a Ke$ha video, which is fun but a huge mess to clean.
Step 9: Assemble your DIYOs.
Smear some of the filling between two of the cookies. If you’re trying to impress someone, like your co-workers or a new boyfriend, you could put the filling into a piping bag and squeeze on to the cookies that way, but since it’s getting squished anyway, why bother? Since I was starving by this point, it was all I could do to not dip the cookies into the filing bowl like chips and salsa.
Step 10: Nom nom nom.
Finally, at long last, you can enjoy your homemade Oreos. And guess what? They are so worth the work. Like OMG these taste just like real Oreos but better, and you feel awesome because you Betty Crockered the shit out of them.
Sure, legit from the box Oreos are still pretty stellar, but if you’ve got the time and don’t want to eat a lot of ingredients that aren’t the best for you—totally calling you out, high fructose corn syrup—then try whipping up your own from scratch. It’s completely doable and totes delicious.
Related-ish: 18 Fall Sweets That Go Way Beyond Pumpkin Spice