Once again, I am apologizing for my lack of attention to this blog this month. This month is busy for everyone...and I took on a job of baking and selling boxed Christmas cookies, so I added that chore to the already long list of "to do's" this season brings. Basically something in my life had to be put on hold, and it ended up being the blog. But the baking is done now....and all the cookies have been delivered. :)
One new cookie recipe I tried this year is the one I am going to share with you right now....Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies. While they don't taste exactly like the Little Debbie version...they really are delicious and unique. I ended up doubling the recipe and only making one batch of filling, which was plenty for all the cookies. I also made the cookies much smaller than the original recipe called for. The filling is made with marshmallow creme, so it doesn't "set up" and get hard, so be sure to store these cookies flat.
The original recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens online. BHG magazine has always been on my favorite sources for recipes. Over the years, I have not often been disappointed by their printed recipes. When I was getting a subscription delivered to my home...the first thing I would do is flip the magazine to the back and read from the back to the front of the publication! I do this with most magazines I happen to pick up! LOL Does anyone else do this?
If you have time...give this recipe a try!
Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
3/4 cup all purpose flour ( you could use whole wheat pastry flour if you like)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter ( smooth or chunky)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tsp. hot water
1/4 tsp. salt
1- 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme
1/2 cup shortening ( like crisco)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment or spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter and the peanut butter. Beat with electric mixer until combined. Add in the granulated sugar and the brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon fulls onto prepared cookie sheet. ( for a rounder more uniform appearance, gently roll the dough into a ball and slightly flatten with your hand ) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, and transfer to rack to cool completely.
3. For filling: In medium bowl, combine the hot water and salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Add marshmallow creme, shortening and powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.
4. Spread about a tsp of marshmallow mixture on underside of one cookie, then top with another cookie. Repeat for all cookies. Store cookies flat, as the filling will not set and harden.
These cookies were a yummy addition to my boxes! You can definitely taste the peanut butter in them...which is different from the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies most of us are familiar with.
I've captured a few photos of the various kinds of cookies I have been busy making for the past month!
But if you have run out of time to make something sweet and don't know what to do....here are two ideas of super quick treats to whip up in no time!
Do these even have a name? I don't think so. They are delicious though...and super easy! Perfect combination of sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy! I guess I will call them Peppermint Kiss Gems! Here is all you need to make these:
1 bag of snap pretzels ( like the kind by Snyder's)
1 bag of Hershey Peppermint Kisses
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. On a foil lined baking sheet, line up pretzels. Top each one with an unwrapped kiss. ( unwrapping all the kisses is the hardest part of this whole thing....do like I did. Get your kids to unwrap them for you! Why doesn't Hershey sell kisses naked? ) Pop the baking sheet into the preheated oven for 5 minutes. This will soften the kiss enough to be squished. Top each kiss with another pretzel. Put tray in cool place to harden back up the chocolate. Quick and yummy! Experiment with other flavored kisses ( non filled ones only though) . We liked the peppermint/pretzel combo best!
Another quick treat idea is appropriately named...Christmas Crack. It's basically a foul proof toffee recipe. I think it's because of the addition of the baking soda. I've seen versions that don't use it, but then that requires cooking the butter/sugar recipe to the right temperature. Too much work! lol I got this recipe from Nicole @ Preventionrd last year, and it quickly became a favorite of mine. It really does live up to it's name...so consider yourself warned!
1 sleeve of saltine crackers ( I used Town House)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. bag of semi sweet or milk chocolate chips ( I used milk)
topping of your choice ( I've used various nuts in the past, this year I opted for Christmas nonpareils)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Completely line a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" cookie sheet with nonstick foil. ( Pan size is important, if you go too big, like a half sheet size, there won't be enough toffee mixture to completely cover the crackers. If you go too small, you might have a bubble over in the oven)
Lay crackers on the bottom of the lined sheet pan, with sides touching in one big rectangle. The square might not quite be big enough to cover the entire cookie sheet.
In a med sauce pan, melt the butter with the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add in the baking soda. Mixture may become frothy. Carefully pour the hot mixture over the crackers. Spread around to cover the crackers as best you can. Pop the sheet into the oven for 8 minutes. It will bubble up in the oven.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Return to oven for 2 minutes. Smooth chocolate over the surface of the crackers using a spatula. Top with sprinkles or nuts. Allow to harden and cut into small squares. Store in airtight container.
So with this, my friends, I leave you with sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas or a happy whatever holiday you are celebrating this season!!! And I send you all a "cyber" box of cookies....you will thank me...they have NO CALORIES! :)
This post is being shared with Tastetasic Thursday @ A Little Nosh