You can be miserable before you have a cookie
and you can be miserable after you eat a cookie
but you can’t be miserable while you are eating a cookie.
―Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa
I really like cookies. All kinds of cookies.
I really, really, really like Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie cookies. But I haven’t bought them in a while.
See, I really, really, really don’t like the list of ingredients on a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie box:
Corn Syrup, Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Barley Malt, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oils), Dextrose, Oats, Water, Sugar, Molasses, Raisins, Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Leavening (Baking Soda, Ammonium Bicarbonate), Whey (Milk), Salt, Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, Mono- And Diglycerides, Sorbitan Monostearate, Polysorbate 60), Corn Starch, Eggs, Egg Whites, Cocoa, Coconut (Sulfite Treated To Preserve Color), Evaporated Apples (Sulfite Treated To Preserve Color), Rice Flour, Nonfat Dry Milk, Carrageenan, Spices, Sorbic Acid (To Retain Freshness), Colors (Caramel Color, Yellow 5, Red 40), Natural And Artificial Flavors (this list taken from an online store product description; it is possible the current box reads slightly differently).
I don’t mind in indulging in a little guilty pleasure here and there when it comes to food, but these take the cake (cookie?). The Good Guide gives Little Debbie’s sinfully tasty wonders a mere 1.1 for nutritional value (and a meager 2.9 overall). Trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and of course the fact that each and every cookie pie comes encased in plastic make these the very very guiltiest of pleasures.
Happily, the DIY route here is not terribly difficult, and every bit as delicious as the original— maybe even better. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s even better
Not good for you, necessarily, but definitely an indulgence that’s less guilt-inducing!
I give you… homemade oatmeal CREAM pies.
(Real food gets real spelling.)
Make Your Own Oatmeal Creme (nay, CREAM) Pies
2 sticks butter at room temperature
3/4 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp honey
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, a little at a time, until just blended. Stir in oats by hand. Cool in fridge for 10-15 minutes.
While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until edges brown. Allow to cool completely (they will fall apart if you try moving them while warm. Patience is a virtue!).
While the cookies are cooling, wash out your mixer bowl and dry thoroughly. Fit with whisk attachment.
Marshmallow Filling Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar (or slightly less; I thought this could stand to be less sweet)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla (I’ll say that I think using quality vanilla makes a HUGE difference here)
Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a double boiler over simmering water. (Don’t have a double boiler? You can use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of hot water, just make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Keep whisking until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is frothy (about 160 degrees).
Transfer to standing mixer bowl and whisk on high until stiff peak stage (mixture is sculpted into standing peaks when whisk is lifted). Gently mix in vanilla.
Frost underside of cooled cookie and sandwich with a second cooled cookie. EAT.
See the cookies pictured all over this post? Too much frosting. Totally gooped out the other end when you took a bite. A little goes a long way here! (But if you go overboard and wind up with extra, unfrosted cookies, no worries. The cookies are delicious on their own.)
These cookies stored well for 24 hours in a sealed container. God bless ya if you manage to keep them in the house for longer than that!