Rain spoiling your Memorial Day plans? Maybe it’s time to bake

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Oatmeal and Turbinado Cream Cookie Sandwiches from “Real Sweet” by Shauna Sever. Photo by Leigh Beisch.

Tired of all this rain? Maybe it’s time to bake. In recent months, we’ve published recipes for jam crumble bars, blueberry cream cheese bread, key lime shortbread cookies, small-batch vanilla cupcakes and currant scones.

But maybe all these clouds are causing your seasonal affective disorder to kick in, and you’re in the mood for a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. Here’s a homemade version to keep you busy this Memorial Day weekend.

Oatmeal and Turbinado Cream Cookie Sandwiches from “Real Sweet” by Shauna Sever. Photo by  Leigh Beisch.

Oatmeal and Turbinado Cream Cookie Sandwiches from “Real Sweet” by Shauna Sever. Photo by Leigh Beisch.

Oatmeal and Turbinado Cream Cookie Sandwiches

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk (reserve egg white for filling)

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, grind the oats to a flour. Add muscovado sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and pulse to blend. Toss in butter and process until the butter is well incorporated and dough begins to clump and pull off the sides. Add egg yolk and pulse until dough comes together with no dry pockets.

Line a work surface with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Turn out the dough onto the plastic wrap and form it into a log about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough tightly. Chill the dough until firm, at least 3 hours in the fridge.

When you’re ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a thin, sharp knife to slice the dough log into 30 rounds, each about 1/3 inch thick. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden and firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, soft but still cool
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine turbinado sugar, egg whites and salt in the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk until mixture is slightly foamy and sugar has completely dissolved. Attach bowl to the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until the meringue is stiff and glossy and the bowl is cool to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes depending on your mixer.

Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time, giving each knob of butter ample time to incorporate into the filling before adding the next. About the time that all the butter has been added, the filling will look like a curdled and separated mess, and you might start to panic, but don’t — it will come together with another minute or so of whipping time. (If the filling isn’t whipping into shape after a couple of minutes, the mixture may be too warm. Pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes to chill it down and try whipping again.)

When the filling is smooth, beat in the vanilla extract. To fill the cookies, either load the filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, or use a small scoop or 2 spoons. Flip half the cookies over and top each with 2 teaspoons of the filling. Sandwich with the remaining cookies and press gently to adhere. Store at room temperature for the first day, and refrigerate them for longer storage, up to 3 days.

— From “Real Sweet: More Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars” by Shauna Sever (William Morrow, $27.50)


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