The first time I was made aware of Tracey Wigfield was when she was on stage with Tina Fey to accept an Emmy for co-writing and episode of 30 Rock. It prompted me to do a deep dive into her background, and shortly after I was made aware through Mindy Kaling's Instagram that she had been recruited to be a part of her writing staff when 30 Rock was coming to an end. I then followed their friendship and her eventual sale of her very own Tina Fey-produced comedy and its making on her own Instagram. I find her hilarious, and some of her 30 Rock episodes are the funniest of the series, so I'm optimistic about her new show, Great News, which premieres next week. To celebrate, I decided to make a familiar favorite from one of the episodes of 30 Rock that she wrote, Christmas Attack Zone.
Oreos are one of my all time favorite foods, and I've been wanting to make homemade ones for a long time. These were so much easier than recipes I've found in the past (but, being black, much harder to photograph that most food), and they were a big hit with all 6 people who finished them in about 24 hours. It's not hard to identify with Liz finishing the half sleeve of Oreos she was bringing to Jack's house for Christmas in the cab on the way.
Inspired by 30 Rock season 5, episode 10
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup dutch process or dark cocoa powder (more info on the difference here, I learned a lot)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the cookies, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
Whisk together, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet gradually with the mixer on the lowest speed. Mix on the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. You should have a non-sticky, black dough (it might be crumbly, that's fine!). Divide the dough in half, shape into discs and wrap each disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove one of the dough disks from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface or between two pieces of parchment or wax paper. It should be 1/8-1/4 inch in thickness. Use a cookie cutter, champagne flute, water bottle, or any other round guide that's about 2 inches in diameter to cut circles out of the dough. Place circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with other half of dough.
Bake cookies for 12 minutes and let cool on a wire rack. It might take a few more minutes, but since the cookies are black, it's hard to tell if they are burnt. Remove after 12 minutes and let them cool and harden a bit, if some of them are still soft, pop them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes at a time, repeating this process until they're the right consistency and not burnt.
While the cookies are baking and cooling, beat butter, half and half, vanilla and salt to combine for frosting. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until it becomes recognizable icing. Once it gets to be about the consistency of cupcake frosting, you're close, the final product should be a little stiffer/thicker than that.
Once the cookies are completely cooled*, pipe the icing onto half of them with a piping bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off. You can spread it with a knife, too, but piping goes very quickly. Place a non-iced cookie on top of an iced one, and squeeze it down. If icing comes out the sides, just use a knife or your finger to clean up the edges.
Enjoy, and try not to eat them all at once!
*It definitely pays to wait until they're completely cool and crispy, both to assemble the sandwiches and to eat them. I was a little too eager with it and broke some cookies, and they were SO much better after they had time to cool and harden.
Recipe from My Kitchen Addiction.
[made while watching Scandal, The Catch and Seinfeld.]