Double Mac Attack, Double Dates, and a Double Recipe for Fauxreos™ (Faux Oreos) – vanilla bean and Mexican spicy mole

by Irvin on March 11, 2011 · 17 comments

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Fauxreos

Let’s talk seeing double for a little bit. Last month AJ and I had scored tickets to the SF Food Wars Return of the Mac and Cheese and it was awesome. The second mac and cheese competition that SF Food Wars had, and more mac and cheese than you can shake a fist at: 16 different competitors! Then we went to a sneak peak preview at Homeroom over in Oakland, a mac and cheese restaurant a few days later, totally unexpected, due to winning tickets from Thrillist. AJ and I showed up a wee bit late for the seating and ended up sitting with two other fabulous people, thus turning our unexpected Valentine’s dinner into a blind double date. At the dinner they served these amazing faux oreos for dessert. So I decided, I must recreate them. And in the interest of keeping things double time, I made them two ways. I present to you Vanilla Bean Cream filled Fauxreos™ (faux Oreos) and Mexican chocolate mole spiced cream filled Fauxreos™ (faux Oreos).

The SF Food Wars is pretty darn fantastic. Organized by the amazing Jeannie Choe (Does that woman ever sleep? She’s a machine!), long time readers know that I have a history with the Food Wars, having double rainbow won the Pie or Die contest back in July of last year. That said, I have since tried to support the contest by going to each subsequent war and recently wrote a post about how to get chosen as a participant, score tickets to it and how to win. In addition I gave away a pair of tickets to a reader which is always super fun (I love giving away stuff!).

Irvin and Jeannie Jeannie and me having a moment.

The Return of the Mac and Cheese was a repeat of the original first war that they had, and having it come full circle was pretty cool. I didn’t attend the original Mac and Cheese Food War, but Jeannie and the judges said that this time round the mac and cheese blew away the last time (sorry former SF Food War mac and cheese contestants). AJ and I were torn by some of the awesomeness of the mac and cheese including the Piggy Cups of Cheesy Love (mac and cheese in a crispy prosciutto cup) by Purveyors of Awesome, Pork Belly Mac by JazzyB’z Recipez, Vermont Cheese Forest by Boffo Cart featuring maple glazed pork lardon and Quack & Cheese by Fowl Mouthed Ladies which had duck confit. Pork or duck, it’s all good!

SF Food Wars competitors

plateful of mac and cheese

In the end, it was a tough call, but both the ones that AJ voted for and the one I voted for won medals (What do you expect? We have good taste). Fellow blogger ¢#€€$€ had obviously read my blog post because he won honorable mention people’s choice for his The Crusty Vermonter mac and cheese, which had a secret ingredient that had the audience moaning with horror and amusement. With nearly 10 different types of cheese, 40% of the cheese in his mac and cheese was VELVEETA! There was a collective groan of horror, but I know the crowd must have loved the old school comfort that processed cheese gives them. You can get the recipe on his blog.

Announcing what's in his Mac and Cheese: Velveeta! Announcing what’s in his Mac and Cheese: Velveeta!

Speaking of old school, I was on Twitter the very next day (when am I ever NOT on Twitter? I’m tweeting right now as I write this! Follow me – I’ve been told I’m hilarious!) and I noticed someone tweet to Thrillist about hoping to win tickets to the sneak peak preview of the awesome buzzed about restaurant Homeroom over in Oakland. So I bounced over to Thrillist and tweeted the requested tweet “I wanna score 2 tix to Homeroom’s mac and cheese madness launch on Mon! #ThrillistMac (RT to enter too!) @Thrillist.” Low and behold I won tickets!

[totally side note. I recently sent an email to a friend of a friend explaining what the # "hashtag" on twitter was (for example, what that "#ThrillistMac" meant in the above tweet). It was a HUGE email, maybe six or seven paragraphs. There's some sort of irony in that it took me that long to explain something related to twitter, a site that limits people's conversations to 140 characters. But I digress]

Homeroom

It was a tight schedule the next day. AJ arrived home on Valentine’s Day with awesome heart balloons for me and then we quickly changed and ran out the door. We arrived about fifteen minutes late and were chagrin to find that they had already started announcing what the courses were going to be. Thankfully we weren’t the totally last people to show up, as two other people showed up right after us.

AJ and me at Homeroom for Valentine's Day AJ and me at the end of the meal. We closed down the place!

In the end, due to the crazy amount of people who were there, the last two people who came in right after us, Kim and Will, ended up sitting with us. Which was actually super fun. Like the best blind date ever super fun! Kim’s a long time fan of Homeroom’s mac and cheese, having tracked them down at the Underground Farmer’s Markets and such way before they had an actual restaurant. In fact, the owners TOTALLY knew who she was, which meant we ended up getting awesome treatment. Well, not that we wouldn’t get awesome treatment anyway, because Homeroom is amazing.

Will, Kim, AJ and Irvin at Homeroom

Kim, by the way, has her own awesome blog over at Kim’s Kitchen Sink and we totally bonded over blogging. Pop over and check out how awesome she is. She’s heading down to the big BlogHer conference in San Diego this summer, so if you see her, be sure to say hi!

Will and Kim

So speaking of awesome (yeah, I know I use that word a lot, I apologize) but let’s talk about Homeroom. How can a restaurant dedicated only to mac and cheese NOT be awesome? We had a three course mac and cheese menu, completely with wine and/or beer pairings. The first course was Mac the Goat which was fresh chevre from Cypress Grove, scallions and olive oil drizzled breadcrumbs. It was rich and ever so slightly tangy, but probably could have used just a tad more salt. Drake’s Hefeweizen was the beer that came with it, and Handley Pinot Gris was the wine.

Mac the Goat

The second was the Cacio y Pepe which is just pecorino with black peppercorns. Sharp and salty it was definitely our favorite across the board, simple and basic but so satisfying. The owners said they had done it as a “seasonal” special but it’s been so popular that they are considering keeping it on the menu. They should. The beer was a Racer 5 IPA and the wine, a Pedroncelli Friends Red.

Pecorino & Black Pepper

The final one was just labeled Spicy and it definitely had a kick. Spicy Spring Hill firehouse jack with some smoky marash peppers gave the mac and cheese a little sass. On top of that, Lagunitas Beer was there, and introduced us to their awesome Brown Shugga beer, served in their custom Lagunitas mason jars. So cool! The wine, a Boeger Tempranillo was also pretty darn great as well. AJ and I were sure to snag a few mason jars as souvenirs.

Spicy!

For dessert, Homeroom finished with homemade oreos sprinkled with sea salt. They had a great bite and wonderful chew and were everything that I thought oreos SHOULD be, but never are. Or maybe that’s just me, but really, I’m not a fan of the hard crispy cookie. I like my cookies soft and chewy, something you can really sink your teeth into; full of chocolate and with a sweet creamy center. The salt offset the sweetness just enough to make me want more.

Homeroom Oreos

And so I decided I had to replicate them. But then I got to thinking a little bit. Oreos are great, but what if I make them ever so slightly more sophisticated? What if I make Mexican chocolate oreos, with spicy sweet filling? Would those be even better? Only one way to find out.

Faux Oreos

I made these faux oreos (or, as I affectionately call them Fauxreos™) for our trip up to Tahoe. I figure, if I’m going to make two different batches of cookies, I might as well make sure I have enough people to eat them. Of course, I also made a batch of my rice crispy treats (I had leftover marshmallows to use up) as well as dark chocolate pudding up there. We were not wanting for any sweets up there for the weekend that’s for sure!

Fauxreos

But these Fauxreos™ are awesome, if I do say so myself. About as awesome as an Oakland restaurant dedicated to mac and cheese, or a Food War that features 16 different types of mac and cheese or an unexpected double date with another blogger and her boyfriend. Trust me. Make them and you’ll never go back. Faux is the new Real.

Fauxreos

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa March 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

That mac n cheese competition sounds like my kind of competition for sure!! Nothing beats cookies and milk. And these make it all the more fun!

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

The mac and cheese competition was pretty awesome. Though in the end it was REALLY hard to pick just one that was great.

And I totally agree with you about milk and cookies. I’m contemplating having an all cookies and milk party, at the suggestion of one of my friends. Perhaps one of these days…

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Kim March 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Great pictures! It was fun hanging out with you guys :) These cookies look fabulous – I’ll have to try them! Glad we met you guys!

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

It was super fun hanging with you guys too! So glad we met!

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Dina Avila March 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm

OK I still need to go back and finish reading this post, but I just had to say, you two are friggin’ ADORABLE!

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Awww… You’re so sweet! Thank you!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food March 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm

You, my friend, are having way too much fun out there in San Francisco. Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m just jealous. But gosh darn it looks like fun!

And your Fauxreos just brought a huge smile to my face. Ready to devour a plate of them right now!

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm

You must come back out and visit sometime! But I’ll be honest, it seems like I’m having way too much fun, but really I’m a rather boring stick in the mud. I believe I have friends who refer to AJ and me as ho-hum homosexuals. We never go out…

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annelies March 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Yum. I will definitely have to try out the fauxreos after my 40 day fast from white sugar… :)

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

40 day white sugar fast! Well if you need any help with desserts that use unprocessed sugars like palm sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave just give me a holler.

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Jennifer (Delicieux) March 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Looks like you are having a wonderful time in San Francisco. We are planning on going there when we head to the US in May. I can’t wait.

Your Fauxreos look amazing. Yum! I love the name!

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Irvin March 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

May should be a wonderful time here in San Francisco. Enjoy the city. If you need help with where to go, don’t hesitate to give me a holler. I’ll point you in the right direction!

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laura March 15, 2011 at 9:28 am

Looks awesome! Can’t wait to try. Saving them to my online cookbook (http://cookmarked.com). :)

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Irvin March 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thanks Laura! Let me know what you think when you make it!

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Ria March 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi!

I’ve just discovered your website today and it’s pretty amazing, so full of stories and of recipes I’d love to try (for instance mac & cheese, it’s totally unknown where I live!!).

I’d really like to bake some Fauxreos but dark brown sugar is hard to find and shortening is also uknown in France… What could I use instead of these two ingredients?

Thanks a lot! :D

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Irvin March 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi Ria! David Lebovitz has a wonderful post on French sugars and how to substitute out American sugars for French sugars. He recommends using moist cassonade (not the granulated type) which is available in cuivrée (light) or ambrée (dark) – I would use the dark if given the choice, sucre vergeoise which is available as blonde or brune – again I would pick brune if given the choice, sucre de canne complet (the slightly sticky kind) or any unrefined amber-colored sugar that’s not granulated.

As for the shortening, you can try just substituting butter for the shortening, but the filling will end up tasting more like butter. This isn’t a bad thing, just slightly different (the shortening is a more neutral flavor). You can also try using lard (Saindoux pur Porc) as a substitution as well.

Hope these suggestions help!

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Paula March 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Just made the Fauxreos! They are delish! I used a level tablespoon of dough for each cookie and felt like I needed much more than just a teaspoon of filling per sandwich! That being said, I needed to double the filling recipe (double stuff?). I used a convection oven and only had to bake them for 11 – 12 minutes for the perfect doneness. Thanks for sharing!

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