Cookies are a marvelous invention! Made with the richest ingredients and able to wear so many different toppings and hide so many different treasures they are diverse and delicious as well as practical and versatile. They can be a snack or a dessert or even breakfast, in a pinch. For tea they are an elegant afternoon pick me up and they make wonderful pocket sized bites for friends and family on the go. They are easy to carry and usually a perfect personal size for sack lunches and after school treats.
I would say that nothing beats a homemade cookie. The smell, the taste fresh from the oven, the care involved in making and sharing them, the mixing, the rolling, the shaping, the generosity and affection infused in every bite. They are a very satisfying indulgence!
Still packaged cookies have their place too. I’m not that fond of the homemade wannabees, made with inferior ingredients but intended to simulate homemade in texture and appearance. No, by packaged I mean cookies that come in a box or bag and are proud of it. Think Girl Scout cookies, Nutter Butters and of course Oreos!
Few things are as capable of both conjuring pleasant personal memories and plugging you into the larger cultural collective. Mention Girl Scout cookies or Oreos and everyone who wasn't born yesterday or recently arrived from some remote corner of the globe is almost certain to know exactly what you are talking about down to the taste, texture, appearance and even smell of the cookie. What's more they are quite likely to share some related memory or experience of their own.
What comes to mind when you think of Oreo cookies? Does it bring an irrepressible smile to your lips?
Here are a few facts about Oreo Cookies:
- Oreos have been made in many flavors including Banana Split Creme Oreos.
- There is even an organic version of Oreos.
- My favorite way to eat an Oreo when I was a kid was to unscrew the top and scrape off the filling with my teeth, then eat the chocolate cookie separately or even discard it.
- When they invented Double-Stuff Oreos I was thrilled.
- I love mini Oreos. They are my favorite Halloween treat.
- I was never a dunker but one of the few ways I enjoy drinking milk is to wash down an Oreo cookie.
- Now my favorite way to eat Oreos is to combine the milk and cookies into one amazing over-the-top dessert.
This great recipe has been in my files for well over twenty years now. Just out of college and on the job as a staff accountant a kind coworker brought this luscious cheesecake to work one day for all of us to try. Rich but not overwhelming, fun but not frivolous, childlike and still elegant, in short - it was amazing!
A few days later she brought in the newspaper clipping of the recipe and we all copied it. 25 years later it is still one of my favorite go-to desserts for a crowd.
Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecake
1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (honey or chocolate grahams, your choice)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cover the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Close the side around it leaving the parchement paper to hang out slightly around the edge. Trim as necessary.
Grease the bottom and sides of the lined springform pan.
Blend all crust ingredients in the prepared pan.
Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides.
Place the pan in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar (use vanilla sugar if available)
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cup coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at low speed until smooth.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared crust.
Smooth the remaining batter across the top of the Oreos.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 35o degrees and continue baking for 45 – 50 minutes (9-inch pan). If the cheesecake is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil. If the cake splits, no problem.
This will be covered by the chocolate glaze and will provide a nice chocolate “ribbon” through the cake.
Remove from oven. Refrigerate immediately.
Remove cheesecake from pan carefully. Remove parchment from bottom and place the cake on a serving platter.
1 cup whipping cream
8 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
Oreo Cookies, whole or mini, for garnish
Scald the cream in a heavy saucepan over high heat.
Pour glaze across the top of the cheesecake. Use a wide bladed knife or pastry brush to smooth the glaze across the top and around the sides of the cake.