July 27, 2011

Recipe Request (and Reader Survey): Oatmeal Cream Pies

First off, random observation: 3 years ago today I was sitting for the first day of the bar exam. So for all you bar takers out there, one day down! Hang in there!

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.  I've received a reader request for the Oatmeal Cream Pie recipe that I wrote about last week...remember the tower of creamy goodness? Well, here at Cookies and Kale I aim to please, so today I bring you that recipe.

I was super excited when MG said he wanted homemade oatmeal cream pies for his birthday, because they are one of my FAVORITE childhood sweet treats. I was never a huge fan of Twinkies or Ho-Hos, but Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies...ooh boy. As a kid, our elementary school lunches always came with a "hot pack" and a "cold pack" - the hot pack was an aluminum tray with a foil lid, and contained, well, the hot portion of the meal. (My personal favorites were spaghetti and turkey with mashed potatoes.  Quite the gourmande I was).  The cold pack contained our sporks (did anyone else play a game where you turned your spork over and your "age" was whatever number was on the back? Anyone?) and a piece of fruit or the occasional dessert. The desserts varied, but what I remember most clearly were the individually wrapped oatmeal cream pies. I was trying to think of another quintessential dessert from my childhood that evokes the same kind of happy delicious memories and I can't really.

Several weeks ago, a coworker left a box of them out for the taking.  I try to limit my sweets intake, and I really try to limit my overly processed store-bought sweets intake (because I'd rather indulge in something homemade and special), but, secret confession: I took one and have it stashed in my desk for a special occasion. Like, you know, a Wednesday afternoon. I'm waiting until the right moment to eat it, since I don't plan on buying a whole box, well, ever, so who knows when I'll have one again.

My stash.

Anyways, if you are a Little Debbie lover like me, this DIY version is sure to please. As I noted before, the cookies aren't quite as sweet, but the cream sure is. Be careful, or you may eat the whole bowl before any of it makes it into the sandwiches. And, as we all learned last week, wax paper, people! Once the pies are done, put them in a single layer - no overlapping edges - and place wax or parchment paper between each layer. Unless you want to make an oatmeal cream pie cake, in which case, stack away!

In exchange for the recipe however, a reader survey!! I want to know what your favorite dessert snack was as a child. Post your responses in the comments! And, save an oatmeal cream pie for me :)

The legendary tower of gooeyness.

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

Yield: 18 oatmeal cream pies

For the cookies:
1 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar (I used light, and it was just fine)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used old fashioned, but the original recipe says that quick oats will work too)

For the cream filling:
2 tsp very hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First, the cookies.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the margarine, brown and white sugar, molasses, vanilla extract and eggs.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, 1/3 at a time, mixing fully before adding more.  Add the oats and mix (you'll probably want to switch to a spatula or spoon at this point, the dough will be thick).

Using a 1 tbsp cookie scoop (or a spoon, but the scoop works better), drop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet*, leaving 3 inches between each ball of dough.  Bake 10-12 minutes, reversing and switching the cookie sheet positions halfway through baking.  The cookies are done when they are slightly browned around the edges, but still moist and chewy in the middle.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to cooling racks to finish cooling.

Meanwhile, make the cream filling.  Add the salt to the very hot water, dissolve, and then allow to cool.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Mix with a hand mixer on high until nice and fluffy.  Add the cooled salt water and mix well.  Lick excess cream off mixers (optional).

Finally: cream pie assembly!  When the cookies are totally cool, use a rubber spatula to spread the cream filling on one cookie and then top with another.  Note: these cookies are very soft and the cream is very sticky, so be gentle.

Plate (waxpaperwaxpaperwaxpaper), serve and enjoy!

*The original recipe says to use an ungreased cookie sheet, so I did, but my cookies really stuck to the pan and some broke apart in my efforts to unstick them.  If I make them again, I'm definitely going to use parchment paper.


  1. The school system in my town used to make these super soft gooey chocolate chip cookies. The ones where the edge was crunchy and the center soft were the best. In addition to that, it would have to be a black and white cookie. Both I am 100% sure were terrible for me.

  2. For me, it would either be pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or sneaking a Turtle (the carmel, chocolate, pecan candy) from my mom's Christmas stocking. Yum! Or those God-awful little debbie brownies that now taste like staleness. Children are silly sometimes. :-)

  3. @Matthew - I've actually never had a black and white cookie!

    @Ryan - ooh, pumpkin pie. That does bring back some awesome memories...it's my favorite kind of pie.

  4. Favorite dessert as a child was my grandma's butter cake with chocolate frosting. I had it for every birthday! I still make it at least once a year.