Oatmeal Cream Pies

This past weekend, my parents and younger cousin were in town. Well, sort of. They were using my house as starting and ending point on either end of a trip to see local tourist sites. I absolutely loved the time I got to spend with my cousin, who I’ve only seen once or twice over the past ten years (the last time at my wedding, when only got to spend a few minutes together). There’s almost a 15 year age difference between us, and it’s awesome to be able to finally relate to one another.

The day everyone arrived, my dad had been telling us about how he saw this box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies at the grocery store that afternoon. He was tempted but didn’t buy them – he was afraid he’d eat the whole box. I can relate. Those cookies are ‘da bomb. I used to love babysitting for one particular family because they always had these cookies in the house. But I digress. After that story and my cousin’s plea for a baked dessert with frosting (I told her that the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes were too time-consuming for my very busy weekend), I decided to make dad and little cuz’ oatmeal cream pies.

I can’t tell you how close I came to not finishing the cookies. The cookies were tasty and soft but some were a little burnt. However, mom and cuz’ convinced me to finish. At the very least, my cousin would eat the marshmallow filling with a spoon. I’m sooo glad I finished – the finished oatmeal cream pies were fantastic. Even the ones I thought were a little burnt tasted like the Little Debbie cookies I remember from my babysitting days. I wish I could share the photos of my cousin filling the cookies and eating the frosting, because you’d know how good they were just by looking at them. I won’t embarrass her by sharing (although if you follow booksncooks on instagram you might get a peek), but do try these cookies. They’re amazing.

Baker’s Note: There’s one significant adjustment that I made to this recipe – I decreased the baking temperature and time. Even baking for just less than the original recommended time, my cookies were coming out a little burnt looking. I was baking one tray at a time and gradually began dropping the temperature until the cookies began looking golden but not burnt. My best batches were cooked at 375F for 8-10 minutes.

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Adapted from The Amish Cook’s Baking Book via Beantown Baker

Makes 24 large sandwich cookies

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbs. boiling water

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 packets)
  • 1/3 c. plus 1/4 c. water, divided
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 oz. vegetable shortening

Instructions for the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down sides of the bow and add salt, baking powder and flour. Beat on low speed until combined.
  4. With the mixer still running, add cinnamon and oatmeal.
  5. Turn off mixer. In a small bowl, add baking soda to boiling water and give a quick stir. Pour into bowl of stand mixer and beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix for another couple seconds to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed together.
  6. Using a 1-inch ice cream scoop,* portion batter onto prepared baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart. Cookies spread a good bit.
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let stand for a couple of minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

* If you have a smaller cookie scoop, I’d actually recommend making these a little smaller. They’re fantastic, but it can be a lot of sugar. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

Instructions for the Filling:

  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, place 1/3 cold water. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Give a quick stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 c. water. Stir occasionally until ingredients are combined. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and on low speed, add in vanilla. Increase speed to high and whip for 5 minutes. The mixture should be white, fluffy, fairly stiff and barely warm to touch.
  4. Switch to whisk attachment and lower speed. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar. Then add vegetable shortening, whisking until smooth. If necessary, raise speed and whisk until thick enough to spread or pipe. The marshmallow filling may thicken a bit as it sits.

Assemble the Cookies & Store:

Use a butter knife to spread filling over one side of a cookie, about 1 Tbs. of filling. Top with a second cookie.

Store on a platter covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. If stacking cookies, place a sheet of wax or parchment paper between layers to prevent cookies from stick together or marshmallow filling from spilling everywhere.

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