Growing up, I always thought of oatmeal cookies as the lesser cousin to chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies were golden brown and studded with chunks of chocolate, but oatmeal cookies had the veneer of health food about them – after all, they contained oatmeal, which seemed more at home in a granola bar than in a proper cookie.
But lately, I’ve been giving oatmeal cookies their due. I first got a hankering to make an oatmeal cream pie after tasting Tiffany MacIssac’s oatmeal cream pie at Churchkey: I had a revelation – this is some seriously good stuff. Think two incredibly soft, sweet, slightly salty oatmeal raisin cookies that sandwich a sweet and tangy vanilla cream cheese frosting. There’s nothing not to love.
My version uses Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for thick oatmeal raisin cookies, which are indeed thick and chewy, buttery, and salty sweet. I loved how the oats keep the cookies soft and moist in their interiors, while the butter keeps them crisp and snappy around the edges. I omitted the raisins, preferring to keep my oatmeal cookies unadulterated, but feel free to add if you’re a raisin lover. The filling is a rich vanilla buttercream frosting that’s sweet and creamy – all you need is a thin coat to sandwich the cookies together.
When I make these again I might try another cookie recipe or adjust the liquids in the recipe – upon much thought, I decided that I wanted a cookie that was a little less thick. While I love the towering crags of these cookies, I think that a smoother, thinner cookie might make a more attractive presentation. Still, I couldn’t stop eating these, so maybe I’ll just leave well enough alone. After all, how often do you encounter an irresistible cookie?
Oatmeal Cream Pies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes approximately 16 1 1/2 inch cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup vanilla buttercream (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined. Add oats and mix until evenly distributed.
Scoop dough in 1 tablespoon mounds onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Freeze for 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just turning golden brown and the centers are barely cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before remove to a rack to cool. Sandwich together with vanilla buttercream frosting.
Vanilla buttercream frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
Makes approximately one cup
1 large egg white
3 tbs + 2 tsp sugar
Very small pinch kosher salt
6.5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-tbs chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine egg white, sugar and salt in the heat-proof bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar dissolves (when you rub the mixture between your fingers, you won’t feel any sugar granules – it will be completely smooth).
Immediately remove bowl from heat and attach to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high speed until cool, fluffy, and glossy (about 10 minutes).
With the mixer on medium low, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and whisk until completely smooth.