Well, it seems like Oreo is still courting me actively.
By “courting” I mean sending me sexy emails that say things like “Hey Claire, do you want more free Oreos?” To which I reply: “Do you even need to ask you devil, you?”
I didn’t quite know what I was getting in this package. The phrase “snack hack” was thrown around a lot, but I wasn't totally sure what that meant or how one would "hack" Oreos into something that was better than an Oreo.
The answer to my questions arrived in the form of one of the most elaborate packages I've ever received.
The items contained within were everything I needed to create the Oreo Fanatic Hack: “Tortilla Chips.”
There were also four other recipe cards, but let’s start with the chips.
Oreo Fanatic Hack: Tortilla Chips
You begin by taking thirty Oreo cookies (cream center and all) and throwing them in the food processor with a cup of flour and half a cup of water. You will end up with a large mass of Oreo-flavored paste. I guess you could call it a “dough” but it didn't hold together super well.
You are then instructed to divide the “dough” into two balls, just sticky mounds. Then you place a wad of Oreo paste between two sheets of parchment paper (they even provided that!) and roll it out as thin as you can.
Score your Oreo paste sheet into chip-like shapes with a pizza cutter and then bake at 325F for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool and break into chips. Garnish with powdered sugar.
I served mine (to myself) with an easy strawberry “salsa.” Just coat some chopped up strawberries with a spoonful of sugar. The concentration of sugar will draw liquid out from the berries, creating a nice syrup. Add a splash or balsamic and some lemon zest to take it to the next level.
Was it worth the effort? Kinda. The Oreos become a little bland when blended with so much flour, but they were great with my salsa.
Was it better than a plain Oreo? No, but few things are.
Oreo Impulse Hack: Bread Pudding
I don’t know what impulse this is fulfilling, but it's not a bad one. I had to alter the ingredients slightly, simply because I wasn’t willing to go to more than one store in search of a “snack–sized slice of pound cake” and a “diet cherry soda.” This isn’t New York City, Oreo; I don’t have a million bodegas within walking distance full of Diet Dr. Brown's.
My kingdom for a Diet Dr. Brown's cherry soda.
Anyway. I substituted the above items with Cherry Coke Zero and a Honey Bun because both of those things are delicious and, I feel, conform to the "spirit of the hack."
I softened five Oreos in half a cup of soda, as instructed, and then mixed the mushy cookie sludge with smashed peanuts and torn up Honey Bun.
It was AMAZING.
I know it looks super unappetizing, but let me tell you: the chocolaty cookies with the sweet bready Honey Bun soaked in cherry cola were perfectly counterbalanced by the salty peanuts. I almost ate the entire pudding when I saw that the Honey Bun alone contained over six hundred calories.
“But Claire,” you say, “it’s not like you to care about calories.”
True, but I still had two more hacks to get through, and one of them concerned fried chicken.
Was it worth it? Yes. Worth trying at least once without question.
Was it better than a plain Oreo? Yeah.
The next hack contained ethanol. But don’t get excited; it also contains lemon Oreos.
Oreo Terrible Idea Hack: Oreo Shandy
Ugh why. First of all, a shandy is a difficult beverage to convince me to drink in the first place. If I’m going to drink a beer, it’s going to be a good beer; I don’t want to water it down with lemonade.
And if I am somehow convinced to add a lemon-flavored liquid to my beer, it’s probably not going to be a syrup made of sugar and soggy Oreos.
But of course that's exactly what I did. I made a syrup of soggy cookies and then added it to an ice-filled glass and topped it with beer. I used a cheap beer, because I wasn't going to waste any good beer on this “beverage.”
Was it worth it? How dare you?
Was it better than a plain Oreo? Disqualified due to use of lemon Oreos.
All that was left then was the “Midnight Hack.” I’m not sure what’s so midnight about it, as it seems like a dinner option. Maybe it was conceived at midnight?
Oreo Midnight Hack: Chicken Tenders
It didn’t go well from the beginning. I scraped the cream center out of 15 golden Oreos and pulverized them, but then mixed them with the flour when I should have mixed them with the bread crumbs. I was then out of stupid golden Oreos, but had a ton of original left. I decided to use the now-corrupted flour as is, and add the chocolate Oreos to the panko/parsley mixture. I thought this would impart double Oreo magic and lend itself to a real flavor explosion.
It did not.
The recipe said to do the usual flour-egg-crumb song and dance and then fry the chicken for four minutes on each side.
Four minutes is way too long if you're dealing with quarter-inch-thick chicken tenders.
I decreased it to 30 seconds each side, and though the chicken was juicy inside, the Oreo crumbs were already too burnt to be enjoyable. It was all very bitter.
Was it worth it? No. My whole house smelled like frying oil and I had to open like a million windows. This let in some small bugs and I am not happy about it.
Was it better than a plain Oreo (or plain fried chicken)? No to both.
This was fun, but the only two hacks I would attempt again would be the tortilla chips and the bread pudding. The chips would actually be really good for dessert nachos. Add a little whipped cream and some caramel sauce; that would be the stuff. And the bread pudding was delicious in that “This is going to kill me why do I keep putting it in my mouth” kind of way. So thank you Oreo, for introducing me to those two recipes.
Let’s never speak of that “shandy” again, though.