Monday, July 26, 2010

Oatmeal Cream Pies softened by Nenna Yvonne

Little Debbie products have been in existence since 1960 when O.D. McKee decided to package and sell his Oatmeal Cream Pies. Looking for a catchy brand he decided to name his snack cake line after his four year old granddaughter, Debbie. Her parents had no idea until after the first cartons were printed that their daughters name and image were being used.

Little Debbies are nowhere near my favorite shrink wrapped snack brand (that would be Tastykake). But every once in a while I get a hankering for an oatmeal cream pie. That urge hit me the other night at Datz. Usually I ignore the desire, let's face it snack wrapped desserts aren't the healthiest thing in the world. But seeing as Datz version looked bigger and fresher than the Little Debbie version I gave it a whirl. The first bite was fine but as I got closer to the middle I noticed something was amiss. There were cranberries in it. I finished the cream pie but didn't enjoy it as much as I should've. So I set off to make my own. Thanks to the blog Back to the Cutting Board I was able to achieve success. In a strange twist of irony, as I bit into my version I thought 'Hmm...wouldn't raisins go well with this?'

Oatmeal Cream Pies (adapted slightly from Back to the Cutting Board Blog)

For the pies:
-2 sticks of butter
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 Tbsp molasses
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 eggs
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

For the Filling:
-2 tsp very hot water
-1/4 tsp salt
-7 oz jar marshmallow cream
-1/2 cup vegan shortening
-1/3 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well.

2. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars. One at a time, add the eggs, mixing after each one. Mix in the molasses and vanilla.

3. With the mixer still running, add the flour mixture to the liquid and beat until blended. Add the oats and continue mixing until well combined.

4. Using a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets. Leave plenty of space between as the dough will spread out. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 11 minutes. The cookies will look moist, don't worry about this you just want to make sure the edges are beginning to brown. Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on wire racks. Continue until all the batter has been used (make sure you have an even number to assemble the cream pies).

5. Dissolve the salt in the very hot water. Set aside and allow to cool.

6. Combine remaining icing ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix on high until fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add the salt and water to the mixture and mix well.

7. Assemble the cream pies by putting icing on one cookie and placing another on top.

*This recipe was not super sweet and I liked it that way. The original recipe calls for more sugar and if you like things super sweet you may want to go with that one. Also, as I mentioned, raisins might go well in these.

As I baked up my oatmeal cream pies I moved around the kitchen to the sounds of Nenna Yvonne. Nenna is an unsigned artist hailing from Nigeria who currently resides in New York. She has a very Lady Gaga feel to her stuff (especially Don't Know Me). She has been making headways this year, being one of the finalists for a Myspace record deal in a competition sponsored by Toyota and fender and releasing her first EP, Model Citizen. "Some Girls" and "Don't Know Me" are from that EP. You can buy a special autographed version (only 100 physical copies) from her bandcamp page.