Oatmeal cream pies were always in my pantry when my kids still lived at home.
Each night before bed, my daughter would have one with a glass of milk. It was her favorite bedtime snack. Now that she is even older than I was when I watched her cuddled up under a blanket on a winter night opening the package that held her favorite cookie, I had to smile when recently I saw the boxes of oatmeal cream pies in her own pantry. She never outgrew them, and now her daughter loves them too.
This is the second recipe in a row that I've taken from the book, ''The Daily Cookie, 365 tempting treats for the sweetest year of your life,'' by Anna Ginsberg. Last month I made the maple glazed cookies, also because they reminded me of my daughter, who is a fan of maple-glazed cream sticks. These cream-filled delights were her second choice for a bedtime snack.
Oatmeal sandwich cookies are a sweet treat that goes well with a big glass of cold milk. They aren’t as difficult as they look and are very reminiscent of a certain commercial brand of oatmeal sandwich cookies. These cookies are from the book “The Daily Cookie” by Anna Ginsberg. Photo by Kathleen Evanoff
Even without the filling, I've always been a fan of oatmeal cookies, as long as they don't have raisins. Most commercial oatmeal cookies have lots of raisins, so I usually avoid buying them. I don't bake them often, since I'm generally too busy to spend a lot of time baking , but I was looking through the book for a simple bar cookie to take to a potluck gathering when I came across the oatmeal creams. The memory of my daughter breaking apart her large oatmeal cream pie and dunking it into her milk made the decision that I would have to give these cookies a try.
I'm usually a little hesitant when it comes to making cookies that call for more than just baking and serving. Filled cookies aren't my favorites to make, and forget about frosted cut-out cookies. I was the mom who not only collected every unusual cookie cutter I could find, but I would spend hours in the kitchen mixing the dough, waiting for it to chill, rolling it out, cutting, baking and then decorating.
I would try to enlist the help of both my daughter and my son to decorate those holiday cookies, but when they reached their teenage years, it wasn't fun anymore, for them or for mom.
Oatmeal sandwich cookies
Makes 18 cookies
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened or 3/4 cup shortening
1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (not instant).
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, then stir in the oats. Chill the dough for one hour, or until firm enough to shape into balls.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
Shape the dough into one-inch balls and arrange about two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press down the tops slightly. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for five minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling: Beat the butter until smooth. Stir in the confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Beat until smooth, then beat in the marshmallow creme and vanilla until light and fluffy, two to three minutes.
Spread the underside of one cookie with a generous tablespoonful of the filling, then top base to base with another cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are sandwiched.
Even so, I wanted to give the sandwich cookies a try and I'm glad to report that they were very simple to make. The only ingredient I had to buy was the marshmallow creme. Everything else was already in my kitchen.
The recipe calls for the dough to be refrigerated for one hour before shaping them into balls, but I ended up refrigerating mine overnight, and it was perfect the next morning. The recipe also states it makes 18 cookies and it did, but the cookies came out larger than I would have liked.
While the large oatmeal cream pies we bought all those years ago were nice and big, these days I prefer a smaller cookie, especially when taking them somewhere as a covered dessert dish. Making them smaller would mean more cookies from the recipe, but keep an eye on the baking time, checking after eight minutes or so.
Although the cookies spread out into discs while baking, they maintain a chewy texture, even when cooled.
The best way I can describe the filling is fun. It whipped up light and fluffy, and although the marshmallow creme was sticky and a bit difficult to get out of the jar and off the spoon, once incorporated into the butter and confectioners' sugar, it was smooth and creamy.
I plan to keep this filling recipe in the back of my mind as a cupcake topping as well. Since it mounds easily off the back of a spoon, it would be great as a topping for holiday treats to depict snow or even Santa's beard.