Official Motto “Liberty and Prosperity”
Suggested Motto “Turnpike and Parkway”
Two Truths and a Lie
Tourism to the Jersey Shore exploded during the Gilded Age. In 1870, an aptly named train conductor, Alexander Boardman, convinced Atlantic City to build a raised wooden platform so that tourists would stop tracking so much sand into his railcars. The Atlantic City Boardwalk was initially 8 feet wide and 1 mile long; today it is 60 feet wide and 5 miles long.
In 1638, a Polish ship arrived on the Delaware River and purchased land in southern New Jersey establishing the colony of New Poland. The colonists initially prospered thanks to friendly relations and robust trade with the neighboring Lenape tribe. European wars distracted the Polish government and delayed the arrival of more settlers and weapons allowing Dutch soldiers to take control in 1655.
The Recipe - Homemade Oreos
Grocer S. C. Thuesen purchased the very first Oreos for his store in Hoboken on March 6, 1912. Oreos were not the original chocolate sandwich cookies; Hydrox had been on the market since at least 1910. But consumers vastly preferred Nabisco’s product, and Oreo sales exploded. In 2021, the Guinness Book of Records proclaimed Oreos the “biggest selling cookie” in the world. Also in 2021, East Rutherford N.J. saw the opening of the first-ever Oreo Cafe, allegedly the world’s largest candy department store.
I love Oreos; especially double-stuffs dunked into a big glass of cold milk. I decided to make a homemade version to celebrate the Garden State. I was inspired by Claire Saffitz who did this for Bon Appetit in 2018.
I started with a recipe for chocolate wafer cookies. I used black cocoa, flour, sea salt, butter, vanilla sugar, and honey. The honey acted as a binder in the eggless dough. The black cocoa and flour looked nearly purple when mixed together, but as soon as the dry mixture hit moisture it transformed into a black dough. It was really cool to see.
I let the mixture chill while I brainstormed how to shape the dough. The Oreo factory uses industrial molds in a trademarked design. Claire Saffitz used crafting supplies to make a custom mold for her cookies. I was determined to use something already laying about my kitchen and pulled out the krumkake iron I purchased for North Dakota. I dusted the sides and pressed a 9 g ball of dough between and attempted to make a decorative wafer. It worked okay. As the dough warmed it became frightfully sticky. Some wafers were perfect, some were too thick, and some lost any trace of the floral pattern. It took forever, I would pick a different tool next time.
My fortune improved as the cookies baked perfectly. For the filling I copied Saffitz and added cocoa butter to achieve the perfect texture. Cocoa butter tastes a bit weird, but with its high melting point, the buttercream stayed firm even in my stuffy summer kitchen. I threw in extra vanilla to improve the taste.
These were amazing. The black cocoa has a rich, earthy flavor. I slightly overbaked them so they were extra crisp and a little bitter. The sweet, creamy filling complemented the wafers perfectly. When I was finally done shaping, baking, and filling, I poured a big glass of milk and gave them a dunk test. Huzzah! They passed.
2023 update: adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil and a crushed candy cane to the filling is DYNAMITE! I tried it for Christmas but may make it this way every time in future.
Want to experience New Jersey for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
I don’t recommend getting stuck in Newark Airport which is sadly my only experience in the Garden State. I would recommend reading Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” I hope the movie is good. I really enjoyed the first three Stephanie Plumb novels by Janet Evanovich. I also recommend blasting the music of Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Whitney Houston whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Time for the whole truth
South Jersey was briefly home to New Sweden.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)