Sheet Pan

Oatmeal Cream Pies

October  3, 2014
4 Ratings
  • Makes About 16 cookies
Author Notes

This is an adult version of the classic oatmeal cream pie -- a brown butter buttercream fills a bourbon oatmeal cookie for a rich and delicious treat. The brown butter buttercream is adapted from Cook's Illustrated. —sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

What You'll Need
  • For the oatmeal cookies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • For the brown butter buttercream:
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  1. For the oatmeal cookies:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line three half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the molasses, and beat to combine, then add the eggs, and beat to combine. Add the bourbon and vanilla, and mix to combine. (Scrape down the sides as needed through this whole step.)
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the oats and mix on low to combine.Take the bowl off the mixer, and use a spatula to make sure the dough is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Using a heaping tablespoon to scoop the dough, place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets (I could fit 3 across, and 4 down). Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack. When the cookies are cooled, place the brown butter cream (recipe follows) on the bottom side of one cookie, and top with another (how much you put is completely up to you!).
  1. For the brown butter buttercream:
  2. Brown 1 cup (2 sticks) of the butter: Melt it in a medium-sized saucepan. You need to stay close to the pan; don't walk away from it. Swirl the butter around until it starts to brown -- it will smell nutty and you'll see little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, pour the brown butter and bits into a freezer-safe bowl, and let cool for 10 minutes. When the butter is partially cool, place the bowl in the freezer and let the butter chill until solid, about 30 minutes (you can also put it in the fridge to cool down, but it will take a bit longer). When the butter is solid (but not frozen!), take it out and place it in the bowl of a standing mixer.
  3. Add the remaining stick of butter to the browned butter in the bowl, and beat all the butter until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat to combine. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed. Once it is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat the cream until it is smooth and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.

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    Mandy Sunde
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24 Reviews

Mandy S. February 19, 2019
I loved this recipe and made it exactly as is. Still making me drool after all the cookies are gone. I would say it made a little extra frosting, but I didn't mind. Grabbed a graham cracker and didn't let an ounce of that delicious frosting go to waste.
Kristin November 22, 2018
These are so delicious! Made them for Thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit. Because I had so much else going on, we skipped the frosting and swiped a little marshmallow cream between them instead. They were less sweet than other, similar recipes I've tried, and the salt level was perfect. I also froze some of the dough by scooping out spoonfuls and flattening them with a fork (to help them spread when they bake), then freezing the little pucks of dough. They baked up perfectly from frozen. Thanks for the recipe!
Kristi T. December 21, 2017
I just made a batch of these and I have to say they are amazing. The cookie without the buttercream is really good. The buttercream really adds to the flavor. I need to make another batch for my husband and I to eat the rest were gifts.
These look yummy! Would the finished sandwich freeze well?
Joanna May 31, 2015
Made this recipe twice--once for an office baking competition (came in second!), and once for coworkers who demanded them again. They are GREAT. But honestly, a good deal of time and effort. Worth it for a special occasion but not your average weekend cookie!
Renee P. May 22, 2015
I found this many months ago and made this so many times. They are fabulous! I even cut the sugar in the icing and they are still so good. I am addicted.
Laura March 11, 2015
Are these cookies soft and chewy? Or more crunchy? Can't wait to make them!
jena B. March 11, 2015
They are soft and chewy, the finished product is very much like the original Little Debbie's. But much better! You won't be sorry if you make them.
jena B. January 26, 2015
I made these today and they are delicious! When I make a new recipe for the first time I always follow the directions exactly, then I tweak to fit my taste. So the only thing I would change about these is to use just a little less salt. That's it! There are a couple of versions I would like to try, like adding finely chopped pecans or chopped raisins to the cookie batter. I made the mistake of making the cookies too big. Next time I'll make sure to not overdue it in portioning out the batter and I think I'll flatten them down a bit before baking. These would be great at a party baked mini-sized. Thanks for the great recipe!
allison969 December 21, 2014
All these comments about gluten free this, and substitute that, and only one comment on the fact that these cookies are SICK? I mean "sick" as in mind-blowingly delicious, and I haven't even made the brown butter creme to fill them. On their own, the best oatmeal cookie I've ever made. With the buttercream, they will be ridiculous-delicious. Might be over-the-top sweet for some, but when you need a sugar blast and a decadent adult treat that still somehow brings you back to your childhood, you want one of these.
sarah K. December 29, 2014
I just wanted to say 'thank you!' for your kind words about the cookies. I made these cookies so many times to get them just how I wanted them - I'm so glad you like them!
hjhj888 December 7, 2014
It says the recipe makes 16 cookies- is that 16 sandwiches or 16 total cookies?
sarah K. December 29, 2014
Sorry for the late reply! It's 16 sandwiches.
Alison November 19, 2014
These received rave reviews from my co-workers. I substituted dark corn syrup for molasses.
Detrishious October 26, 2014
I'm going to make these gluten free today. I can't see any reason why it shouldn't work!
chris October 25, 2014
I made these for a neighborhood party, and everyone thought they were delicious. There was more filling than I needed, and one person was walking around with spoonfuls of buttercream, all evening. I'll definitely be making these "Little Debbie's," again. (The chemistry of molasses 101 post is interesting. You can't taste molasses, in the cookies.)
Lori T. October 17, 2014
starving artist - if the molasses only function in a recipe is to add sweetness, then it's generally not a problem to substitute other sweeteners. The only problem with doing that is that you may change the flavor profile a bit. Maple syrup, while yummy, adds a different flavor, as would sorghum or honey. The blandest would be plain white sugar. If you chose to use a granulated product, you would need to add additional liquid, to provide what is lost from the molasses. However, in this recipe the molasses is also the acid agent to react with the soda. Unreacted soda will leave your cookies tasting soapy, and of course, unleavened. I don't think the amount called for is significant enough to make a major impact on tastebuds, since you will also be adding in the brown sugar. Brown sugar also contains a minor amount of molasses. That is what gives it the brown color white sugar lacks. In this recipe, swapping it out might prove disastrous for your cookies unless you also either add in another form of acid, or consider using baking powder. Of course it goes without saying that your cookies won't taste the same. If you were looking for a grownup version of the store variety, it would not be a match without the molasses.
starving_artist October 17, 2014
Any thoughts on substituting something for the molasses? Not a big fan.
chris October 17, 2014
Maple syrup would be my substitute, though dark corn syrup, honey, sorghum or agave all seem like they would work.
chris October 15, 2014
Why would you turn one cookie over and put the filling on the bottom side? The picture appears to show two cookies simply sandwiched together, bottom to bottom. (Am I maybe overthinking this?!)
punkinpie October 16, 2014
Thats generally the method when sandwiching cookies. Bottoms facing filling.
Sarah C. October 14, 2014
I would love to find a way to make these gluten free. I'm wondering if I can do a straight substitution of GF flour (King Arthur) or maybe almond flour. Suggestions welcome!
sarah K. October 15, 2014
I haven't tried substituting gluten free flour, so I'm not sure if it would work here. But if you try it, please let me know how they turn out!
Lane S. October 20, 2014
Hi Sarah - I find baking powder works better when converting gluten free bakery items without some type of acid in the recipe. The molasses may work, but the powder is a safer bet. Otherwise, the recipe as printed should work with a straight substitute of a GF all purpose flour mix. And almond sounds good too! Lane