Like most people, I grew up loving everything Little Debbie has to offer. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, so I have eaten my share of Nutty Bars, Swiss Rolls, Zebra cakes, and my absolute favorite, Oatmeal Creme Pies. It’s funny. I don’t even really like oatmeal. But, I have always loved those soft oatmeal cookies, with a hint of spice, sandwiched together with a sweet, creamy vanilla filling. As good as they are, I knew I could do better. I found this recipe as I was going through some old issues of Everyday Food and I knew I had to give it a try. The batter comes together in just a few steps, all of them easy. The filling is a simple sweetened cream cheese to replace the shortening based frosting of store bought. The cookies are really soft and the cinnamon and molasses give them great flavor. So, no. These are not an exact replica of the oatmeal pies you grew up with. Nope, they are better. I just know, as a kid, I would have loved to see one of these cookies in my yellow, plastic Garfield lunchbox.
Oatmeal Cream Pies
Yield: 13 sandwich cookies ( I got 11)
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 oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup golden raisins I omitted
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
A splash of vanilla optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. 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.
With mixer on low, add flour mixture and beat just until combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in oats and raisins. 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.
In a medium bowl, using mixer, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until light, 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Spread filling on flat side of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies.
Source: Everyday Food September 2010