Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oatmeal Cream Pies

If you're like me, you might think that there's no way that a homemade recipe could ever rival the taste of a true Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie.  Fortunately for both of us, we're both totally wrong.

When I first started seeing oatmeal cream pie recipes popping up across the interwebs, I was incredulous that anything I could make in my kitchen could achieve the moist, soft cookie or the signature filling flavor of the oatmeal cream pies of my childhood.

And, to be honest, the cookie is great but not exactly the same. But the filling...oh, the filling. It is amazing. It is perfect. It is Little Debbie without all the scary chemicals and preservatives. I did debate for awhile on which type of cookie recipe to use. Specifically, whether to go with one that would result in a puffy cookie that would make the sandwiches "look" better, or a flatter cookie that would better emulate the real deal. Clearly, you can see which I chose.

I used a Martha recipe for the cookies and, while it specifically calls for rolled oats rather than quick-cook oats, I only had quick-cook and all the other recipes I found called for this type as well. I didn't notice any issues, but can't say how they would have come out differently. Let me know if you try it!

The recipe also calls for using 2 Tablespoons of batter per cookie, which results in monster-size oatmeal cookies that are popular at bakeries these days (who eats that much cookie??) Anyway, I found 1 1/2 tablespoons to be much better and if you want 20-24 sandwiches, go ahead and reduce it to 1 Tablespoon.

A couple of notes: If you're smarter than me and already have a small cookie scoop, this would be the time to use it! Otherwise measuring out 1 1/2 Tablespoons of batter gets pretty messy.

Oatmeal Cookies
     slightly adapted from Martha Stewart 
     makes 13-18 sandwiches
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups rolled or quick-cook oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown and granulated sugars, and molasses on high, scraping down bowl, until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Add vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition.

2. With mixer on low, add flour mixture and beat just until combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in oats. Drop dough in 2-tablespoonful mounds, 2 inches apart, onto two baking sheets. Bake until cookies are just set at edges and slightly soft in middle, about 11 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets, 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Oatmeal Cream Pie Filling
     from Baked Perfection
2 teaspoons hot water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
While the cookies bake prepare the filling. In small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water. Set aside and allow this to cool.  Combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl; mix on high until fluffy (3-4 minutes).  Add the cooled salt water and mix well.  Spread filling on flat side of one cookie, press 2nd cookie on top.