Cookies Sweet

Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies

These crispy-yet-soft sandwich cookies are the perfected version of your childhood lunchbox treat.

One summer in middle school, I went to a creative writing day camp at a local university. Every day, as a special treat, my mom would pack a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie in my lunch. These cakes were a rare purchase in our house, and the combination of my favorite supermarket delicacy with a wonderful summertime experience cemented this confection into the realm of perpetual joyous nostalgia within the recesses of my brain.

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Fast forward a few years to the Great Lockdown of 2020. One dreary day in April, my husband opened our front door and was surprised to find a box of cookies, left there by one of our close friends. Cooped up and newly working from home, she had pulled out her copy of Magnolia Table, Volume 2 and made Joanna Gaines’s oatmeal cream pies.

To my deepest wonder – these cookies were miles better than what I remembered eating as a kid. Because the outer halves of the sandwich are a stronger oatmeal cookies instead of mass-produced almost-cake, they hold together well and offer a much more rich flavor than the store-bought version. My husband – who dislikes for the Little Debbie version – loved these cookies so much he insisted I get recipe so we could make them at home.

The recipe you read below has been adapted from the official Joanna Gaines version. The biggest departure is the cookie methodology. As you’ll see below, I recommend rolling the cookie dough into balls and refrigerating it for at least 30 minutes before baking. I’ve found this helps reduce how much the cookies spread in the oven, and it results in a more even thickness throughout the cookie batch.

Two oatmeal cream pie cookies sit lean against one another, atop a wooden surface.

As always when baking, you’ll need a few ingredients. For the cookies, we mostly need the basics – all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, softened unsalted butter, an egg, baking soda, salt, and vanilla bean paste. To make these cookies special, we’ll use rolled oats (old-fashioned is fine), ground cinnamon, and molasses.

For the filling, we’ll be making a basic vanilla buttercream frosting. For that, you’ll need more softened unsalted butter, plus powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste, and a splash of milk.

Two piles of two oatmeal cream pie cookies sit next to one another on a white surface, with a single oatmeal cream pie cookie balanced between them.

Start by creaming together the butter and sugars using an electric mixer. Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has become relatively light in color and texture. Once the mixture is creamy, beat in the egg, vanilla bean paste and molasses.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly mix this into your wet ingredients until the dough has an even consistency.

Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on a plate. Do your best to make the balls as consistently shaped as possible, for easier sandwich-making later. Transfer your plate of cookie dough balls into the refrigerator.

This refrigeration step is important, especially if the weather is warm! Earlier, we softened the butter to make it easier to form into a dough. Now, we need to cool it down to help the cookies retain their shape when they enter the firey furnace of the oven. I recommend letting them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but you are welcome to leave them longer if that works better for your schedule. (You could hypothetically freeze the dough at this stage and finish the process later; I haven’t done it personally, but this is exactly the way many fundraiser groups sell their cookies.)

Balls of oatmeal cookie dough sit on a white plate, waiting to be refrigerated.

While the cookie dough rests in the fridge, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 3 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Once your oven has preheated, transfer the cooled dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden and have started to become crispy along the edges. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Baked oatmeal cookies sit on a silicone mat.

While your cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and vanilla bean paste. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar on half cup at a time to avoid making a mess. Once you have added all of the powdered sugar, mix in the milk. 

Beat the filling mixture on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the filling is homogenous and fluffy in texture.

Once your cookies have cooled, pair up the cookies that are most alike in size and shape. Pipe or dollop filling onto the bottom of one cookie before using a second cookie to create a sandwich. Store the completed sandwich cookies in an airtight container; as the filling is a buttercream, they will do best if stored in the refrigerator.

Freshly assembled oatmeal cream pie cookies lean against one another, sitting on a white surface against a blue backdrop.

I’m telling you – these cookies are the Platonic ideal of the oatmeal cream pies from the grocery store. If you tried them at home, please let me know how they turned out! Feel free to tag @WhiskAverseBaking on social media, or leave a message in the comments below.

Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies

With a richness that could only come from molasses and brown sugar, these crispy-yet-soft sandwich cookies are a perfected version of the childhood lunchbox treat.
Adapted from the Magnolia Cookbook, Volume 2, by Joanna Gaines.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Cooling time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies

Ingredients
  

Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats

Filling

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions
 

Cookies

  • Cream together butter and sugars using an electric mixer. Continue mixing for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has become relatively light in both color and texture.
  • Beat in the egg, vanilla bean paste and molasses.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly mix this into your wet ingredients until the dough has an even consistency.
  • Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on a plate. Do your best to make the balls as consistently shaped as possible.
  • Refrigerate the dough balls while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 3 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Once your oven has preheated, transfer your cooled dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden and have started to become crispy along the edges. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Filling

  • While your cookies are cooling, prepare the filling. Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and vanilla bean paste. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, to avoid making a mess. Once you have added all of the powdered sugar, mix in the milk.
  • Beat the filling mixture on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until the filling is homogenous and fluffy in texture.
  • Once your cookies have cooled, pipe or dollop filling onto the bottom of one cookie before using a second cookie to create a sandwich. Store in an airtight container; refrigerate any leftover cookies.
Keyword cookies, oatmeal, sandwich cookie

6 comments on “Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies

  1. Annette I Fulton

    I can’t wait to try these! I love the Little Debbie version, but if you say these are better.. then by golly, I must try this recipe!!

  2. Deborah Rhodes

    Is it the quick oats or regular?

  3. What is vanilla bean paste?

  4. Pingback: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins - Whisk Averse Baking

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