By Curt Oden - Exline correspondent
The weather continues to be different. One day it is snowing and another day it is sunny and mild. With this continued mild weather, the spring flowers plants and shrubs will soon be coming into flower, which will be earlier than usual. At least we are not experiencing those severe tornadoes like a lot of other places have been having.
The recipe for this week is a special one, in honor of the Oreo Cookie that is celebrating its’ 100th anniversary this week.
Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake
1 pkg. (2-layer size) Devil's food cake mix
4 squares Baking Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 c. butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. thawed Whipped Topping
12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed
Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Prepare the cake batter and bake in two, nine inch round pans as directed on the package. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
Using a microwave oven, melt the chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on high two minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool five minutes. If chocolate glaze becomes too thick, microwave on high 20 to 30 seconds or until desired consistency.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in whipped topping and crushed cookies.
Place one cake layer on plate, spread with cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand 10 minutes until firm. Keep refrigerated. When this cake is assembled, it resembles a giant Oreo Cookie.
You know how just about everyone enjoys a big glass of cold milk with two delicious chocolate cookie wafers, with a layer of crème filling sandwiched between them? Well, did you ever think about how those type of cookies were first made?
It was back in 1898, that a few cookie baking companies merged together and formed a company, that became known, as the National Biscuit Company, which was shortened to NaBisCo, or Nabisco.
By 1902, the Nabisco company was making what they created called Barnum's Animal cookies. They sold them in small boxes designed to look like a cage on a circus wagon, with a string, so it could be hung on a Christmas tree. They are still in production today.
Another cookie company, known as the Sunshine Baking Company introduced their Hydrox brand of chocolate sandwich cookies in 1908. There is speculation that Nabisco may have got the idea from the Sunshine Baking Company, to produce their own brand of chocolate sandwich cookies, which became known as the Oreo in 1912.
Nabisco made their first Oreo cookies at their Chelsea, N.Y. baking factory in New York City. Their original intent was to compete with the British cookie market where the English called their cookies biscuits. They considered the English biscuits to just be ordinary.
The first Oreos produced were mound shaped and came in two flavors, a lemon meringue and cream. These original Oreos, were called the Oreo Biscuit. They sold the cookies in the United States by the pound for 25 cents. They came in a tin with a clear glass top.
By 1916 they changed the shape of the cookie and during the 1920s, as the popularity of the chocolate Oreo became more prominent, the lemon meringue ones were no longer produced. By 1921 the name was changed to Oreo Sandwich.
There is speculation on how the Oreo got it’s name. No one can agree on the exact story. Some believe it was named after the Greek word “Oros,” meaning a mountain or a hill, since the original cookies were mound shaped. Some speculate, it may be from the French word “Or” meaning gold or the Greek word “Orea,” which meant nice or beautiful. Yet others think it may come from “Oreo" which is also similar to the Greek word for appetizing.
The two “O” shaped cookies and the “cr’ from the word cream, may have also helped to contribute to the name of the cookie. No matter what the source could have been, the name has stuck for these many years.
It was in the year of 1948 that the name was changed to the Oreo Creme Sandwich. By 1952, the modern design of how the actual Oreo cookies look today was changed. It then included the Nabisco Logo, on the chocolate cookies on each side.
It was not until 1974 that the name of the cookie changed again. It then became known as the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie.
Since it was always popular to carefully pull your two cookie halves apart being careful to leave the icing on one of the cookie’s sides, folks would then merge the double crème filling together, to form a cookie with thicker icing in it. By 1975, Nabisco capitalized on this idea and released their DOUBLE STUFF Oreos that year.
Over the years there have been other changes to the famous cookie. In 1987 a fudge covered Oreo was introduced with a fudge filling instead of the standard creme filling. That was, followed by Halloween Oreos in 1991 with orange colored filling. By 1995 a Christmas Oreo was debuted. To be more seasonal, it contained a red colored filling.
After years of competition, the Sunshine, Hydrox chocolate crème filled cookies finally ceased production in 1999, due to Oreos denominating that area of the cookie market.
For years, the Oreo cookie slogan was “America’s Favorite Cookie” but today it is known as “Milk’s Favorite Cookie.” Besides the two traditional chocolate cookies with the white crème filling, today there is also a version with the crème filling sandwiched between two golden cookies. Plus a newer edition the last few years has been, being able to buy the cookies dipped in either chocolate fudge or white fudge to form an even more delicious treat.
The Oreo is a trademark of the Nabisco Division of Kraft Foods, since Nabisco was eventually bought out by Kraft. It became the best selling cookie of the 20th century, with over 491 billion of them being sold over the years.
Today the Oreo sandwich cookies are marketed in the United States under the Nabisco brand name, but in Canada they are sold under the Christie brand name.
Years ago, I was able to tour a Nabisco Bakery in Northeast Philadelphia where I got to see them make Oreos. It was very interesting. At the end of the tour, everyone received a small box of Oreo cookies, which was a nice treat.
Do you realize that over 20.5 million Oreos are eaten each day? That would amount to 625 million a month and 7.5 billion that are eaten in one year. Since Nabisco began making Oreos it was reported by 2007 that at least 491 billion Oreos had been sold in that 95 year time period. They are one of the best selling and most popular cookies of the 20th century.
Since the cookie, debuted on March 6, 1912, the Oreo cookie celebrated it’s 100th anniversary on March 6, 2012 which was this past Tuesday.
In honor of the cookies 100th birthday, you may now purchase the special Nabisco, OREO COOKIE 100TH Birthday Cake Confetti Sandwich Cookies to commemorate the occasion.
The birthday gathering for March, was held this past Wednesday, at the Exline Old Country Store. A nice group of people were on hand to help celebrate that morning. Those having birthdays this month include: Pam Mathes on March 5, Bob Traxler on March 6, Joy Golden on March 10, Ron Dorman on March 16, Jeanette Dorman on March 19, Rodney Randall on March 29, along with Wayne Exline and Jim Burns, who both have their birthdays on March 31.
Jasmine Fernandez, the daughter of Jill Sharp and granddaughter of John and Joy Golden all of Exline, recently had her dark, long hair cut at a salon. What made her hair cut special, was the fact that the long hair was donated to “Locks of Love” where it will be used to make a hair piece for a cancer patient that may need it.
Coming up this Monday, March 12, the Royal Neighbors of America, Chapter 3000, will be sponsoring a dinner at the community center that will begin at 6 p.m. They would like for everyone that plans to attend the dinner to please bring a covered dish of your choice. The group will be providing, meat, potatoes, rolls and drinks.
They will have a guest speaker that evening, from the Crisis and Women’s Shelter in Ottumwa.
Another dinner is also going to be held soon, here in the town of Exline. The annual Spring Dinner and Easter Egg Sale will be held on Sunday, March 25 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The dinner is sponsored by the Exline Recreation Committee. A free will offering will be accepted for payment for the meal. They will be serving meat loaf, chicken and ham, along with potatoes, homemade noodles, vegetables, desserts, rolls, coffee and tea.
At this dinner, the Exline Royal Neighbors Camp 3000, will be selling Easter Eggs again this year. The eggs will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. The prizes in the eggs may range anywhere from $1 to $50. A lot of area businesses have began to donate prizes for these eggs.