Let me know if this sounds familiar. You find a great recipe which you have most of the ingredients for, but you’re missing one key ingredient and have to get some. You want to just get a little bit of it, because you don’t generally use it, and you wouldn’t want the rest of it to go to waste. But they never sell it in quantities that small. And you figure, well, I’ll just use the rest in something else, so it’s no problem getting it.
This happens to me all the time. And then I end up with lots of random bits and bobs of different ingredients just waiting to be used up. For instance, almond extract. And I have to say, I can’t really let the food go to waste. Don’t get me wrong, around here, if food spoils before we get to it, we definitely throw it out. But if we can use something up before it goes bad, we will try hard to do so. And in the house I grew up in, letting food go to waste was something that was just not done.
Why do I bring all that up? I had lots of oats, shortening, and eggs that I wanted to use up. Granted, these things are far from exotic, but we just don’t use them much. I turned to Food Blog Search. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a handy resource for finding recipes. You can enter in search terms (like ingredients), and it scours the blogosphere for recipes. Pretty nifty. I ended up finding this recipe. I like the Pioneer Woman. I’ve used some of her recipes before. And this one sounded good.
If you’re playing (reading) along with the recipe at home, here are some ingredient notes. I used organic shortening. (I had originally gotten it for making the homemade Oreos). The water I used was not quite boiling water. (I just microwaved it on the beverage setting.) I didn’t have quick oats. I just used regular oats and pulsed them in the food processor (as I learned here).
It’s a very easy recipe. I just mixed it all together. I melted the butter to make it easier to mix, because I was doing it all by hand. (See below for more on that.) I used two cookie sheets for each batch, and I baked them all over two batches. I used a dinner teaspoon not a measuring teaspoon when measuring out the cookies. I had thought that made them a little bit bigger, but I ended up with a few more cookies than the original recipe.
I cooked them for 10 minutes, and they smelled ridiculously good while baking. After 10 minutes, they seemed a little gooey still. So I baked them for one more minute. I had a little trouble getting them off the baking sheet, as they were still a little fragile. I let them cool while I did the second batch. When the second batch was done, I let them sit on the baking sheet a bit before taking them off to see if that was easier, which it was.
Now, if you’re following along, you’ll notice that the original recipe was for whoopie pies. But what I made ended up being flatter and thinner. So I’m calling them cookies. And I’m calling the finished treat sandwich cookies. I ended up with 44 cookies which made 22 sandwiches.
While they were baking and cooling, I put together the filling. Instead of either of the fillings that were mentioned in the recipe, I used the filling that I used for the homemade Oreo cookies. As before, it was really easy to put together (and it used more shortening). The KitchenAid made short work of it. Because I knew I would need the KitchenAid for that, I did the cookie part by hand.
My wife cleaned up, as she often does. (Thanks, hon!) There was a little bit of an oat spill which I warned her of. She asked if we needed to get Li’l Sebastian in to clean it up.
The next step was putting them together. I had put the filling in the fridge, as I had eaten dinner between making it and using it. But when I took it out of the fridge, it was cold and I couldn’t work with it. I used a plastic bag to pipe the filling, and so I could warm it up with my hands. The bag fell apart fairly quickly, even though I only cut a small hole in it. Thankfully by that point the filling had warmed up, and I was able to just spread it with a knife.
Like usual with this filling, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough so I skimped in the beginning. In the end there was clearly plenty of filling, so I had to go back and refill the early ones. My only excuse this time was that it was a different cookie recipe. There wasn’t a ton of filling in these, but that was okay because…
These were rich cookies. What I actually said when I first bit into one was that these were big cookies. But what I meant was rich. The cookies weren’t too sweet, but they were big and substantial. And when you put two together with the filling, it was a lot. You might not think oatmeal cookies are going to be that rich, but trust me these were. The other thought I had right away was that they were missing raisins. They weren’t, but I think I’ve just been conditioned by years of oatmeal raisin cookies.
Besides being rich, they were delicious. They had a crunchy outside and a chewy inside. The filling was good. Sweet, but since there wasn’t too much of it, it wasn’t too sweet. They went well together. I remember oatmeal cream sandwich cookies growing up, but those were much smaller cookies that had much more filling, while these had much more cookie and less filling. (More cookie! Less filling!)
My wife and I brought some in to our respective workplaces like we usually do. They were described variously as “really good”, “darn good”, and “magical”. I also should note that I can’t tell you how long the cookies will keep for, because they disappeared in just a couple of days. So if the cookies themselves are magical, and I can make them disappear, does that make me a cookie wizard?
I would highly recommend these. If you try them, I’d be curious to know how they turn out with either of the suggested fillings. I’d also be curious to hear any thoughts you might have as to why they didn’t turn out like whoopie pies. And if you have any magical recipes yourself, I’d love to hear those, too!
Cookie recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.
Filling recipe courtesy of smitten kitchen.