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These classic little Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies got a gluten-free makeover, and they are even better than anything that comes in a box!
I am probably totally showing my age here, but I'll admit it I totally grew up with all the Little Debbie snacks. You name them; I had them and totally loved them. My favorites were always the Oatmeal Cream Pies, though. I mean, really, why wouldn't they be? They were the perfect soft cookies sandwiched with the fluffiest filling that just melted in your mouth when you took a bite.
Of course, now I wouldn't eat them out of a box since I've been gluten-free for several years, but that doesn't change the fact that these iconic little cookies are still delicious. That's why I gave them a total gluten-free makeover because who wants to miss out on such deliciousness?
What makes these so good?
A classic oatmeal cream pie cookie is essentially two soft and chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a fluffy cream filling. Obviously, the store-bought kind contains flour and is not gluten-free, which is why I played around with these to get the perfect oatmeal cookie. I mean, it is the foundation, after all.
So how did I do it?
It Starts with the Oats
These are oatmeal cookies, but if you are gluten-free, you need to know that while oats are by nature gluten-free, it's the processing that can contaminate them and make them get gluten. I always look for certified gluten-free oats. If you do not see gluten-free on the bag, they are likely contaminated in the packaging process, and I would not recommend them. Also, this recipe uses old fashion rolled oats, not the quick oats.
Inside the Cookie Magic
Obviously, these cookies have more than oats, so let's gather what you'll need to make these little sandwich cookie delights!
For the Cookies:
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Molasses or Honey
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Gluten-free Old Fashion Oats
- Gluten-free Oat Flour - I show you how to make this, so don't worry about that.
- Arrowroot Starch
For the Filling:
- Unflavored Gelatin
- Butter or Shortening
- Powdered Sugar - Powdered sugar is often made from sugar and corn starch. I personally cannot handle corn, which is why I love Wholesome Sweet powdered sugar. It's made with tapioca starch and is gluten-free.
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Making Oat Flour
This might sound like a complicated process, but really all we are doing is taking some of those gluten-free rolled oats and pulsing them in a food processor or blender until they resemble a finer consistency. Does it have to be perfect? Nope but this helps the oats cine together more, making that perfectly soft and chewy cookie texture we are looking for.
If you don't want to make it, you can easily buy it; just make sure that it's actually gluten-free.
A Note on Baking Powder
While this particular recipe does use gluten-free grains, I think it's important to note that not all baking powders are. A lot use grains like cornstarch when they are made, so if you are intolerant to that, you might have an issue. I like to make my own baking powder, so I know it does not contain anything. You can, too; it's really easy with super simple ingredients.
- Baking Soda
- Cream of Tartar - Adding this helps to get the baking powder its leavening properties, giving the baked goods their rise.
- Arrowroot Starch - I prefer arrowroot, but you can also use tapioca starch here.
- Mix 4 TBS Cream of Tartar with 2 TBS of Baking Soda and 2 TBS of Arrowroot starch together.
- Store it in an air-tight container.
- Use it in a 1:1 ratio, just like you would a store-bought baking powder.
You can also easily double the recipe to keep it on hand.
Let's Make Some Cookies
- Make the oat flour.
- Combine the oat flour with the remaining dry ingredients and mix them together.
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars until it is fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, and molasses until combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Scoop the dough into balls and let them chill in the fridge for about an hour until the dough is cold.
- Place the cookies about three inches apart on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 8-12 minutes, depending on size. The cookies will have flattened out and have slightly crispy edges.
- Once the cookies are baked, let them REST on the tray for about ten minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
Bring out the goodness inside!
While the cookies cool, you will want to make the filling. It takes a little bit of hands-on work, but it's totally delicious.
- Bloom the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl.
- While the gelatin is blooming, combine the remaining water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the sugar and water mixture until it's completely dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat it on high until stiff peaks are formed.
- Once you have stiff peaks, add the butter and mix until it's incorporated.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar to the mixture.
- Let the filling cool slightly if it's still soft before assembling the cookies.
Make it an Oatmeal Cream Pie
It's not an oatmeal cream pie until the fluffy filling is sandwiched in between two cookies. So let's do that!
- Spoon about a tablespoon or so (depending on your cookies' size) into the middle of one cookie.
- Sandwich another cookie on top of the filling and gently press down.
- Now enjoy them!
Tips and Tricks
Chill the dough - Oatmeal cookies spread, but I find that making sure the dough is chilled and baked from cold helps keep them a little bit fluffier.
Allow the Cookies to Cool - Oatmeal cookies are soft, so letting them settle and cool for about ten minutes before trying to remove them from the pan will help keep them from breaking.
Filling the Cookies - This filling cools and solidifies. I like it to be ever still so slightly warm (and not fully set) before I add them to the cookies. This helps to let the filling squish perfectly between the cookies before setting.
Do Not Overstuff - Well, I guess that's up to you, but I always put the filling in the very middle of the cookie, leaving space around for it to spread as the cookies sandwich together.
Storing Oatmeal Cream Pies
These sandwich cookies will last about five days when stored at room temperature in a container. If you want them longer, I suggest placing them in the fridge. When you want to eat them, just let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes to let them soften back up.
Can You Freeze Oatmeal Cream Pies?
Oatmeal cookies actually freeze really well. If you want to freeze these, I suggest freezing your dough in balls and then baking as you want them. You can also freeze the already baked cookies and then just make the filling when you are ready to make them fully into oatmeal cream pies.
You could freeze them put together, but I personally think these freeze best without the filling.
These cookies have the best texture when they are enjoyed at room temperature.
More Cookie Love
Better than Little Debbie Gluten-free Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies
For the Cookies:
- ¾ C Butter soft
- ¾ C Dark Brown Sugar
- ½ C Sugar
- 2 TBS Molasses or Honey
- 2 Eggs Large
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 ½ C Gluten-free Old Fashion Oats see note
- 1 ¼ C Gluten-free Oat Flour see note
- ¾ C Arrowroot Starch
For the Cream Filling:
- 3 TBS Unflavored Gelatin
- ⅓ + ½ C Water divided
- ½ C Sugar
- ¼ C Butter or Shortening
- 4 C Powdered Sugar
For the Cookies
- Cream the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and honey or molasses together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and then fold them into the batter.
- Cover and place the cookie dough into the fridge and let it chill before you bake them. This helps to keep the cookies in their shape without spreading out as much. You want the dough COLD. I prefer it chill about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spoon the cookie dough into balls and place them 3 inches apart. These cookies do spread out, so make sure you give them some room. I usually use ½-1 TBS of dough per cookie, so they don't get overly big and are easier to handle.
- Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. You want the cookies to look flattened out and slightly golden.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and LET THEM REST at least 10 minutes on the tray. They will still be soft at this point, so it is easier to let them chill before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
For the Cream Filling
- Combine the gelatin and the ⅓ C water and mix till the gelatin starts to bloom.
- In a small saucepan, add the ½ C of water and the sugar and warm it up over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Whisk in the bloomed gelatin until it is combined and then let the mixture sit and chill for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and mix on high until stiff peaks are formed.
- Once you have stiff peaks, add the butter into the mixture and mix until combined.
- Slowly mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and mix until it is all combined.
- Let the mixture rest while the cookies are cooling.
To Make the Oatmeal Cream Pies
- Carefully spoon some of the mixture on top of a cookie and then sandwich another one on top, gently pressing down.
- Let the cookies rest and then enjoy!
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