May 22, 2012 12 Comments
Yes, I admit that I ate a lot of crap in high school. While I certainly enjoyed a variety of snack cakes like Ding Dongs, Swiss Rolls, and Devil Squares, one of my all-time favorite crap-snacks were Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies. My girlfriend, Beth, and I would eat those things by the box and, if memory serves me correct, we’d routinely down an entire box before our basketball games. Clearly not the best food choice for sustained energy, but I claim ignorance for my poor choices of yore.
Thinking back to those b-ball days made me a little nostalgic and I couldn’t resist looking through old photo albums. This one was taken during our senior year in a game against our biggest rival, Ontonagon. It was during the district tournament and we ended up barely losing 43-41 so it also happened to be the final game of our high school career.
But back to evil Debbie. It’s not just the high sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol that make Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies so repulsive to me now, but look at all of the artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that are in them (I’ve highlighted the horror of horrors, but notice I’m not even marking corn syrup, which could be debated):
Corn Syrup, Flour Enriched Bleached, Barley Malt,Niacin, Iron Reduced, Wheat Flour, Folic Acid (Vitamin aB), Oat(s), Cottonseed Oil Partially Hydrogenated,Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Sugar, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vegetable(s) Shortening, Ammonium Bicarbonate,Baking Soda, Dextrose, Emulsifier(s), Contains 22% or less Leavening, Milk, Molasses, Polysorbate 60,Raisin(s), Salt, Sorbitan Monostearate, Soy Lecithin,Water, Whey, Mono and Diglycerides, Corn Starch, Caramel Color, Carrageenan, Cocoa, Coconut, Color(s),Egg(s), Egg(s) Whites, Apple(s) Evaporated, Milk Non-Fat Dry, Red 40, Sorbic Acid, Freshness Preserved BySpice(s), Yellow 5, Flavor(s) Natural & Artificial,Sulfite Treated
So now I present you with a healthier recipe for oatmeal creme pies made of whole ingredients, yet taste “like they have a pound of butter in them” (exact words from the mouth of one of my co-workers) and will surely give Little Debbie a run for her money.
You first want to whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder in a medium bowl. Then cream the Earth Balance, sugar, and molasses in your stand mixer.
Keep beating until the mixture is light and fluffy like the photo below. Then add vanilla and beat again.
Put your Ener-G Egg Replacer in a bowl, add the water and beat with hand beaters until stiff peaks form.
Add this mixture to the bowl and beat again.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl while the machine is beating on low speed. After you’ve added all of the flour, you may need to turn up the speed of your mixer in order to allow the dough to fully combine like the photo below on the right.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, add in the oats, and stir by hand. Grab your cookie scoop and drop cookie dough balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and space them 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. They will flatten during baking, but still remain a bit puffy when done so you will need to press them flatter immediately after pulling them out of the oven.
Transfer them to a cooling rack until completely cool and then turn them over.
While the cookies are cooling, wash the bowl of your stand mixer and make your cream filling by putting all ingredients together in a bowl and mixing until creamy smooth.
I made sure I had 24 bottoms turned over on the cooling rack and then spread the cream on top of each one. I laid them all out like this and didn’t put their top on until I had spread each cookie with cream. That way if I had lots of left-over cream I could add more to each cookie or, similarly, if I was running short on cream I could steal some from the already creamed cookies. When you’ve finished adding the cream, place the remaining 24 cookies on top.
Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies
Makes 24 cookie pies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 8 ounces (1 container) vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti), softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure that your Earth Balance and cream cheese are softened to room temperature. Also, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In the bowl of your electric stand mixer beat the Earth Balance, white and brown sugars, and molasses on high until creamy and fluffy. You will need to periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat again, until combined. Add the egg replacer and beat until creamy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl while it’s beating on low speed. Increase the speed after adding all of the flour until well incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer, add in the oats, and stir by hand.
Bake: Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes and don’t be alarmed if they seem too soft because these are supposed to be very soft cookies (and they will thicken slightly as they cool.) Press the cookies flat with your hands or another flat surface and then transfer them to a cooling rack until they’re completely cool.
Cream Filling: In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, Earth Balance, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Again, you’ll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically so that everything is incorporated.
Completed Cookie: Spread the filling on the flat side of half the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top to make a sandwich.