As a kid, my mom didn’t allow a lot of processed and sugary foods into our kitchen and so when I’d go to my friend’s house, I was always fascinated (obsessed is probably more like it) with all the sugary breakfast cereals, and especially the Oreo cookies. As much as I complained about our junk food-free lifestyle as a kid, as an adult, I’ve turned out much like my mom and barely ever buy processed foods because of all the unpronounceable ingredients, the unlabeled GMOs, and the bulky packaging which for the most part ends up in landfill sites. Besides, I find it way more fun to make my own.
These healthy “Oreo” cookies are made with nutrient-rich buckwheat flour which is one of my favorite grains to cook with (you may remember my buckwheat shortbread cookies). Make sure to use a lighter colored buckwheat flour, some buckwheat flours are very dark and do not work as well for baking. This is how your buckwheat flour should look, light grey and peppered with the occasional dark fleck:
Buckwheat’s distinctive flavor pairs well with chocolate and it happens to make these little cookies entirely gluten-free. I use organic pastured butter and an egg in the dough, but if you prefer not using these, I’ve posted a dairy-free and egg-free version on my blog.
The dough is very easy to make, I simply whisk the dry ingredients together and throw everything into the food processor. In about one minute, there’s a ball of dough, ready to roll out.
The white cream filling is made simply by blending raw cashews, honey, and coconut oil together. It’s kind of addictive, without any guilt. You can add more or less honey, based on your preference. My guy is a fan of the minty version of these cookies, so I sometimes add a few drops of pure peppermint extract to the filling and it transforms these cookies into minty chocolate goodness.
The assembly takes a little time and patience, but if you’ve got some helping hands, you’ll have your finished cookies in no time. Enjoy and let me know if you make these!
Healthier Homemade Oreos
Learn how to make a healthier version of homemade Oreos using buckwheat flour and blended cashews. (Recipe Credit: Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes blog)
- For the cookie dough:
- 1 1/4 cup light buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup coconut or cane sugar (you can reduce this to 3/4 cup if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
- For the cream filling:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (not toasted cashews)
- 2 Tbsp white or creamed honey
- 3 Tbsp refined, expeller-pressed coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp vanilla (or peppermint extract)
- To make the cream filling, place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with water. Soak them for at least an hour, or overnight. Drain the water and pat the cashews dry with a clean towel. To make the cream filling, you can either use a high-powered blender or an immersion stick blender. Place all the ingredients together and blend on highest setting for several minutes to obtain a smooth thick paste. Place this in the fridge while you work on the dough.
- To make the cookies, preheat your oven to 325 F. Whisk all the dry ingredients together, except for the sugar. If you have a food processor, simply pulse the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the egg and vanilla, pulsing a few more times to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. If mixing by hand, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix well, adding the pre-mixed dry ingredients and mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Flatten it into a disk. Sprinkle a little buckwheat flour on a rolling pin and on a clean surface and begin to roll out the dough to about 1/8th or even 1/16th of an inch thick. Continue to sprinkle a little buckwheat flour under the dough as you roll it, it will help you lift off the cookies to transfer them to the pan. The thinner the dough, the crispier the cookie. If your dough is too sticky to roll out, you can knead in a bit more buckwheat flour (not more than 1 Tbsp at a time) or chill the dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
- Once your dough is rolled thin, use a round cookie cutter or the top of a small drinking glass, about 2 inches in diameter, to cut the cookies into circles. Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer them to a parchment paper-lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 325F oven, but check them often as they can burn very quickly, and burnt buckwheat does not taste very nice. If your dough is rolled very thin, they may bake even more quickly than this. Cool the cookies on a rack, they will crisp a bit as they cool.
- To assemble, make sure the cookies are completely cooled (or the filling will melt). Coconut oil hardens significantly when chilled. If your cream filling is very cold and hard, you can roll it into little balls, about 3/4 inch in size and gently squeeze it between 2 cookies, making sure to press on the centre of the cookie so it doesn’t crack on the edges. Alternately, if your filling is not too cold and still spreadable, you can simply butter it on the bottom of one cookie and press another cookie on top. If the filling is left at room temperature too long, the oil may begin to separate, if this happens, simply chill it again and whisk it back into a cream. The filling amount should be fairly thin, about 1/8th inch thick. They will keep for about 1 week.
Tips/TechniquesFor a dairy-free, egg-free version of these, visit the Kitchen Vignettes blog.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series has been nominated for multiple James Beard Awards for Best Video Webcast (On Location). In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.