As anyone who lives in the southern half of the country knows, we have been hit with an onslaught of winter weather lately. The kind of snow/ice/sleet/freezing rain storms that shut the whole city down. Although that speaks more to the lack of salt and plows in Tennessee than to the actual severity of the weather. But still, seeing my car covered in an inch of ice and not being able to leave the house because the southern way to deal is 'just let it melt', makes me feel like I'm seven and have a snow day again and I LOVE it. My recent house-bound snowy days have consisted of reading Lone Survivor, watching Parenthood and lots and lots of baking.
Among all of the caramel stuffed chocolate cookies and oatmeal pistachio brownies coming out of our oven, there was also an experimental batch of oatmeal sandwich cookies. They had toffee bits, brown butter and buttercream. Everything good and right in the world and my hopes were so so high. But the cookies were too crispy, the buttercream was too buttery and my high hopes had to settle on an adequate, not so stellar sandwich cookie.
So naturally a few days later, after the snow had melted, my car was freed from it's ice prison and I was once again able to see the light of day, I endeavored to fix everything that went wrong in the first batch. And oh am I ever glad I did.
I used all brown sugar in these cookies instead of a combination with granulated sugar which make them super soft and chewy. And, frightened by my previous crispy cookies which caused all of the filling to ooze out after the first bite, I added some maple syrup to push the soft and chewy factor as far as it can go. Instead of using a plain buttercream for the filling, I made a cream cheese filling that is creamy, sweet and dotted with little flecks of vanilla bean. I'm an oatmeal cookie plain jane and I leave the raisins of the world for lunch boxes and old people. That being said, you can definitely add raisins to the cookies if that's your thing. You could also add some chopped nuts or chocolate chunks.
Just promise that you won't wait until the next giant snowstorm to make these because a) they're too good to wait and b) it's almost spring!
Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Filling
Cookies adapted from Quaker Oats
Makes 16-18 sandwiches
| Ingredients |
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 4 tbsp. butter, softened
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
| Instructions |
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and maple syrup, beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in two additions. Mix until just combined. Add oats and stir to combine.
- Roll dough into 1-tbsp. size balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes, until they just turn golden brown. Be careful not to over bake, as they will set more as they cool.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add powdered sugar in small additions and beat until combined. Add vanilla and vanilla bean seeds and mix well.
- After cookies have cooled, divide the filling between half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to make sure they stick together. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.