This summer in Toledo, I went over to my friends house and found a white rectangle box with a smiling girl on the front. I remember this
box from when I was a kid. My elementary lunch always had a Little Debbie creation inside. Swiss Roll… Star Crunch… Oatmeal Creme Pie… Close your eyes and think about that scrumptious Oatmeal Creme Pie. A super soft oatmeal cookie, filled with just the right amount of white luscious creme that seemed to dissolve in my mouth to create an explosion of flavors. It was my favorite as a kid.
Well the problem when you’re an expat is you leave home after a summer of deliciousness only to come back to China with the realization that your favorite goodies are over 3000 miles away. What’s a desperate Nomad to do?
Get online! There are a zillion different recipes to make Oatmeal Creme Pies at home. I immediately crossed off the ones that called for shortening. China doesn’t sell Crisco and in my humble opinion, it’s gross. I never used it in the US anyways. After work I set out to find a good recipe, when I stumbled upon Sally’s Baking Addiction. Browsing her recipes, once could say Sally has an obsession with sweets!! Hmm.. I think her recipe just might do the trick. I liked the ingredients in Sally’s Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie so I used her recipe, but I was out of powdered sugar for the creme.
I did a bit more searching using my 2nd favorite recipe app, YumPrint and found a good creme recipe, similar to what most
other homemade Oatmeal Creme Pie Cookies called for. While the site is blocked to uninvited readers, you can still access the recipe on YumPrint. Sweet!
- 1 and 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2.5 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon dark molasses
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats (NOT whole-rolled oats* see my note below regarding the oats)
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Setaside.
- With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together at medium speed until light and creamy. Add egg, vanilla, and molasses, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk it all around. Add the quick oats and combine.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. The dough will be quite thick and you may have to mix it all by hand after a few seconds in the mixer. Drop dough with a large cookie scoop, or make sure each ball of dough is 2 Tablespoons in measurement. Cookies will spread in the oven, so drop each ball of dough 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Creme Filling Ingredients
- 2 teaspoons very hot water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
- 1/2 cup shortening (I used butter because shortening is gross)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Creme Filling Directions
- With a hand mixer, combine marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in on high until fluffy.
- Add the cooled salt water and mix well.
- When cookies are cool, add 1/2 tablespoon of filling to the bottom side of one cookie, then place another cookie on the filling.
- Gently squeeze.
How did my cookies turn out? In all fairness, I deviated quite a bit from this recipe but the flavors were still excellent.
- I made the first batch with 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookie. When they came out of the oven they were waaaaaaaay to big! So the next batch they were only 1 tablespoon. Again waaaay to big. The last couple of batches were 1/2 tablespoons and the size came out perfect. About the same size you would find in the plastic Little Debbie packages. (You can see the difference between the sizes in this picture –>) Remember to reduce your baking time if you shrink these cookies.
- *I also used Rolled Oats as opposed to quick oats. Sally said you can turn Rolled Oats into Quick Oats by pulsing them in a food processor a couple of times, but I chose to keep them whole and it didn’t prevent the batter from spreading as she warned. So it’s up to your preference for the texture.
- I didn’t put nearly as much creme between the cookies as Sally did because 1) I made the cookies smaller 2) I couldn’t justify eating more than one if they were too creme-filled!
- I had to add more powdered sugar to the creme filling because it tasted too buttery. I ended up using about 2/3 cups of powdered sugar and an extra teaspoon of vanilla.
- The next time I make these I’m going to substitute light brown sugar for the dark brown sugar. The dark brown sugar combined with the dark molasses left my cookies really dark looking. I would probably omit the granulated sugar all together too in order to reduce the sweetness level.
Sometimes you need to be resourceful when you don’t have a driver to take you to the grocery store. Never give up. There’s always an alternative to make something homemade and delicious. Everyone has their own recipe for the best cookies, icing or casserole! So remember, being a Recipe Nomad means being flexible and accommodative!