Browsing articles from "May, 2012"
May 19, 2012
Hillary

Oatmeal Cream Pie

 

Growing up, you couldn’t find much packaged food in our pantry. There were some exceptions when it came to chips or even some cookies, like Pepperidge Farm. However, something such as a Little Debbie treat was guaranteed to never make an appearance in our house. The first time I was even introduced to Little Debbie was at daycare and friends’ houses and while I didn’t take to many of the snacks there was one in particular that hit a sweet spot for me. It was the oatmeal cream pie. There was something about the soft oatmeal cookie filled with ultra sweet icing that had me at the first bite. I would of course eat it quite strategically by eating the edges first and work my way to the center until the last bite was a perfect balance of cookie and icing. I think the last time I ate one of these was actually back in grade school, which was some time ago. That got me searching not for the Little Debbie version in the store but for a recipe I could try at home! The result took us back to our childhood days but I have to say I think this version is even better than what I remember them being!

Here’s what you need to create these nostalgic cookies:

Ingredients:

(Adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes approximately 30 small cookie sandwiches.)

Cookie:

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 light brown sugar
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats

Filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Putting the cookies together is pretty simple. Start by mixing together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl on medium speed. Let this mix for a few minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the molasses, vanilla extract and each egg one at a time until completely combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and start adding the dry ingredients. Add in the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Give everything a good mix. Slowly add in the flour; a quarter cup at a time on low speed. The last ingredient to add are the rolled oats. Use a spatula to fold in the oats until everything is completely combined.

The dough should be creamy and light. I found it easiest to use my teaspoon cookie dough scooper so as to control the size of the cookie and make the most uniform cookies that I could. However, if you want larger cream pies, by all means use a larger tablespoon scoop! Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or give them a quick cover with non-stick cooking spray. Make sure to leave a few inches between each cookie because they will spread a little bit.

Pop the cookies in the oven and let them cook for about 11 minutes. I followed Martha’s suggestion and rotated the cookie sheet half way through and the 11 minutes seemed like the perfect about of cooking time.

The cookies form the slightest crunch on the edges but are still that perfect soft, chewy in the middle! Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for just a few minutes and then transfer them to the cooling rack. Finish cooking the rest of the cookies and once the last batch is out you can move on to the creamy filling. In a small mixing bowl add your cream cheese and powdered sugar. With a hand mixer, just whip everything together until you reach the consistency you desire. I mixed mine for a few minutes until I had a really smooth, creamy mixture.

Now comes the fun part! Using a small frosting spatula or just a regular knife, apply the frosting on the flat, bottom side of one cookie. Add as much as you like and then press the bottom of another cookie on top of that and you have your oatmeal cream pie!

I think it’s important to say that the cream cheese filling isn’t exactly like the original cream pie I remember but I actually liked it better. The cookie is the perfect, soft consistency and the spices from the cinnamon and molasses pair perfectly with the slight tang from the cream cheese. It’s a great combination! We could say it’s your childhood oatmeal cream pie updated with a bit of sophistication added! I found that it was best to actually put the cookies in their storage container but stored in the fridge right away. The cream cheese of course stays cold but it keeps the cookies from drying up and loosing that perfect consistency. While my sweet tooth is satisfied, I have quite a lot of oatmeal cream pies on my hands so this is definitely a great dessert to make for company or as a gift! You’ll take your first bite and immediately feel like you’re a kid again and we all need that feeling from time to time! For now, that’s oatmeal cream pies…in the shell of a nut!

 

May 7, 2012
Hillary

Red Pepper Ricotta Frittata

I’m Back! And for real this time! The last few months of the Masters program completely took over. Any time I sat down to write my time was completely taken… Read the rest →