A childhood classic transformed into an addictively sweet fall treat!
There’s nothing that makes me feel more nostalgic than those long rectangular boxes of Little Debbie’s treats. (Let’s be honest…pretty much EVERYTHING makes me feel nostalgic.) It brings me back to my childhood, working in my uncle’s cherry orchard every summer. Ohhhh the fun of waking up at the (butt)crack of dawn to sort millions of rotten/imperfect cherries out of an endless amount of wooden bins. Ok, so it was only about a week out of the summer…for like 6 or 7 hours/day…but STILL!!!
My Grandma Lil always had my brother and I drive (more like speed) “The Green Machine” (John Deere pickup) around the orchard, delivering Little Debbie’s treats and pops (that’s “soda” for all you weirdos out there) to all the cherry pickers during our halfway break. Once everyone got their treat, my brother and I would park the Green Machine under a cherry tree and lounge while snacking on our Little Debbie’s treats until the next round of bins arrived.
Everyone has their favorite when it comes to Little Debbie’s treats, whether it’s those creme-swirled swiss rolls (YUM) or those glazed honey buns (my grandma’s favorite), but mine was perhaps the Oatmeal Creme Pie…Mmmmm….
I just LOVE that combination of the super soft, thin and chewy oatmeal cookie with the sweet creme filling. The cookie is super moist, yet not cakey and packed with brown sugary sweetness. It almost melts in your mouth.
So being that it’s fall, and I’ve only made one pumpkin recipe so far this season (unacceptable, I know), I decided to venture out and make some Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies.
Not only do these oatmeal creme pies look just like the ones you buy at the store, but they taste soooooo much like them.
If not, better…
The main difference is obviously the pumpkin in the cookies, but the flavor is much more subtle than I expected. I think it’s the fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice) that give these pies that iconic Little Debbie’s flavor, but the pumpkin definitely adds enough moisture to the cookies to keep them soft and chewy.
Due to the pumpkin, these cookies don’t spread very much. Normally, this isn’t such a bad thing, however, if you want these to look like the original, you’ll need to flatten the cookies out before you put them in the oven. Mine were about a 1/2-inch thick before I baked them. The dough tends to be rather sticky, so I would also advise greasing your hands up pretty well before rolling and pressing your cookies out.
As opposed to the original, these oatmeal creme pies are not lacking in the creme filling department. Nope! I decided to make these how I wanted which is with a layer of creme filling just as thick as the cookies.
Just how an oatmeal creme pie SHOULD be!
For the classically fluffy creme filling, I whipped together some butter, marshmallow fluff, vanilla, powdered sugar, and a little milk. It’s the marshmallow fluff that infuses this filling with the sweetness which is so reminiscent of that addictive frosting filling.
It’s impossible not to feel like a 7-year old again when I bite into one of these heavenly pies.
If only I had the same metabolism…
Then I wouldn’t have to feel so guilty for scarfing down five of them.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies
Yields: 16 Pies
1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 and 2/3 cup quick oats
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin (I used Libby’s brand)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme/fluff
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in the oats; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and white sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, egg yolk, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Dump in the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. Using grease hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls, about 2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Place dough balls onto prepared baking sheet, then use the bottom of a measuring cup greased with cooking spray to flatten to about 1/2 of an inch.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, marshmallow fluff, vanilla, and salt until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, a cup at a time, until filling is light and fluffy. If filling is too thick, add milk, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches a smoother, more pipe-able consistency.
Spoon the filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or a large zip-loc bag with the tip cut off), and pipe the filling onto the bottom side of a cookie. Gently press another cookie on top, forming a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Serve immediately, or store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.