Oatmeal Cream Pies

Sometimes I wish that someone had been taking the minutes of my life. Writing down the crucial conversations I’ve had with my mom over the last 25 years. I guess I just don’t want to forget any dialogue that could potentially be of use to me in my future, when I give birth to donut holes…baby donuts…munchkins, right, that’s the word.

I can’t wait to use those classic parent lines. The ones like, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” Only I hope my daughter doesn’t respond like I did. “Well, so long as they’re harnessed and secured with high durability bungee cords, I don’t see why not. In fact, I just saw an episode of Road Ru–”

My poor mother. But maybe it’s beneficial to me that I was such a wiseacre. I’ll at least be prepared to fire back to any smart aleck remarks with more reasonable arguments.

“No, we can’t eat cake for breakfast. Cake is for lunch.” Or “Listen Punky Brewster, you know why you have to do your homework? Because Department of Social Services is already pretty skeptical of me for filling nearly everything edible with vanilla buttercream, and you don’t want to go to juvie.”

I’m not even nervous about broaching the birds and the bees. That’s what chastity belts are for.

See? I’ve already got quite the repertoire of responses. The kids don’t stand a chance.  And fortunately, if anything goes awry, and for some unknown reason my arguments fail me, I’ve got a plan B.

Oatmeal Cream Pies. End of discussion. Go to your room. (But take one of these on a small plate before you go. Oh- and a glass of milk. I care about calcium).

Oatmeal Cream Pies are a staple from my childhood. The softest, gooey-est oatmeal spice cookie, smeared and sandwiched with a slightly gritty, and outrageously sweet vanilla frosting. Thinking of them now makes my mouth water. And my heart race.

These sugary sandwiches are magic. Pure, hocus-pocus-type, get me a glittery wand, magic. The cookie itself is my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe- extremely chewy, generously spiced, and studded with plump dried cherries, shards of dark chocolate, and toasted pecans. How sophisticated of me. The use of dark brown sugar gives them not only that desired moistness, but a striking depth of flavor- a rich molasses-like taste. A ten on the taste/texture spectrum. And the filling? My classic vanilla buttercream.

The key is to underbake the cookies. I know, when have I ever baked a cookie to complete done-ness? Never, but especially not here. You don’t want a cookie that requires a firm bite that will smoosh all of the cream filling out the sides. Or do you?

Deliberate decadence.

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries (recipe from Cooks Illustrated, my favorite baking companion)

(Makes 16, 3″ cookies)

  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped (or use dried cranberries)
  • 4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped in chunks roughly the size of choc chips (about 3/4 cup)
  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 1  1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries, and chocolate.
  3. In standing mixer, or using a hand-held mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 1 min. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 secs. Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 30 secs. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until just incorporated. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough evenly into 16 portions, about ¼ cup, then roll between palms into balls about 2 inches in diameter; stagger 8 balls per baking sheet, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using hands, gently press each dough ball to 1 inch thickness. Bake each baking sheet 11 minutes, rotate them front to back and top to bottom, then continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in cracks), 8 to 10 minutes longer. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire rack 5 minutes; then transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • up to 1/4 cup milk
  • 1  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy (about 1 min).
  2. Gradually beat in the sugar, one cup at a time, alternately adding tablespoonfuls of the milk.
  3. Beat in the vanilla
  4. Whip on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add more or less milk if you desire a thinner/thicker consistency.

To assemble the oatmeal cream pies: Once the cookies are cooled completely, spread 2 TBSP buttercream on the underside of one cookie. Top with another cookie and smoosh lightly to spread the cream to the outer edges of the sandwich. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. says

    I wish I had let out my inner wise arse as a child. I might have enjoyed my childhood better! haha… you’re gonna be a great Mom someday!

    As for the cookies…my baby brother once told my Mom MY cookies were better than hers ( (I was 16) and she got MAD. …true story. He told me that a few years ago and I was filled with pride, and sadness that my Mom got MAD over a dumb thing like that. I have since tried to gift my teenager with some cookie talent…never know when he’ll want to impress a girl with a undercooked but oh so soft and chewy-gooey oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Better save Mom one! I’ll boast his talents till the end of time, plus eat the proof. Than I can knit and eat my cookies too!

    my tricks are to always use real softened butter, room temp eggs and under cook. that was my secret tip, the one Mom never knew. let them finish cooking on the rack and they stay soft and gooey long after the first off the pan ones are gone!

    ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    I need to master the buttercream frosting. SOON. I always use ice cream instead!

    have a great day

  2. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) says

    oh man ,i can relate to this post!! My mom & I certainly know how to argue. these look delicious though!!! Like.. i want one right now! loveeeee the store-brand not-sohealthy ones haha

    xoxooxox

  3. says

    I’m just thinking about this and my mouth is watering. If one were actually in front of me, my computer would be ruined from all the drool in the .3 seconds it would take me to eat it. I love that you underbake all your cookies!

  4. says

    Ha ha. Hopefully your kid isn’t like me at age 15. I’d give my mom the silent treatment and if she tried to make up with mouthwatering oatmeal cream pies I’d stubbornly hold out even though I wanted to shove the entire cookie in my mouth.

  5. says

    Haha I had a very similar relationship with my dad. Too funny. The ironic thing is he loves oatmeal cream pies! I’m going to make these for him so we can argue about them. :)

  6. says

    The image of you as mom with those retorts makes me laugh. You’re going to be an amazing mom if you make desserts like these cookies for your kids. They look like a much better version of those Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies. I used to LOVE having those for lunch. I would mush them all up before I ate it. Don’t know why, but it somehow made it taste better.

  7. says

    Remember how much I love cookie sandwiches?!!! Yum, yum, yum!!!!!!!! :) I’m gonna pretend you made these just for me, haha! 😉 Yeah, I’m not selfish at ALL, haha!! :)

  8. Todd says

    Forget Little Debbies! I must have these. Actually, as an American living in Finland I can’t get Little Debbies either. Anyay, I will have to wait until I lose the 6 lbs I gained over Xmas to make these but I can hardly wait. Thanks for all the amazing recipes in here.

  9. Todd says

    Forget Little Debbies! I must have these. Actually, as an American living in Finland I can’t get Little Debbies either. Anyway, I will have to wait until I lose the 6 lbs I gained over Xmas to make these but I can hardly wait. Thanks for all the amazing recipes in here.

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