Sorry Little Debbie, You Can’t Touch This!

Oatmeal Cream cookies finishedGrowing up, one of my all time favorite [packaged] cookie was the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies.  Something about the sweet oatmeal and fluffy creamy filling just tasted so good.

Well, as a big kid now, I traded in the packed, processed stuff for homemade oatmeal cream pies.  I guess it’s the principle of make-it-yourself that makes it okay and for the big kid in me…

This fun, simply dessert is sure to impress and multiple sources said it beats Little Debbie!

The Cookie Ingredients (makes 12 pies): 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 scant tablespoon molasses, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup flour,  dash salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 cup oatmeal.

The Filling Ingredients: 2 tsp hot water, dash salt, 1 – 7 oz jar marshmallow cream, 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Oatmeal Cream mix

Cream Butter, and sugars.  Add egg, molasses and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add to the sugar/butter mixture.

Finally, stir in slightly ground oatmeal.  Use a food processor or blender to slightly grind the oatmeal.  (I know this only takes a few seconds and leaves another dish to clean, but I’m telling you, it’s SO worth it!  Ground oatmeal makes the cookies more uniform and sticks together better.  Plus some people don’t like the bits in oatmeal cookies and this eliminates that!)

Place dough by round tablespoon full on parchment paper.  You want this to be very symmetrical.  Next, slightly press down on the balls to about 3/4 inch thickness.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes just until the edges are slightly brown.  The softer the better!

Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Oatmeal Cream filling

For the filling: Dissolve the salt in the hot water and let cool.  In a mixing bowl, mix cream, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla on high until fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).  Add water and mix well.

When the cookies cool, flip over so the flat side is up.  Frost one side with filling and place the second half on top.  You should have extra filling left over so make a second batch of cookies or store for a rainy day!  I want to try to make a double chocolate chip with cream filling or mint chocolate chip with cream filling cookie with the extra filling… hmmm do I sense a new recipe next weekend!?

Oatmeal Cream cookies

These are sweet and super yummy!

Now, do you have any blast-from-the-past-used-to-eat-as-a-kid recipes worth bringing back homemade style?

Bon Appetite!

Celebrating Red, White & Blue Baker’s Style

4th of july red velvet coverHappy Independence Day!  I definitely don’t need an excuse to bake, however, 4th of July gave me a reason to theme it!  Red velvet with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite desserts.  Since it’s already red, it make perfect sense to make this for the 4th!

I wanted to make a relatively healthy dessert (remember strawberries, blueberries and cool whip would have made for a much healthier 4th dessert).  It had to be something new and yummy.  I got this idea from Pinterest from the blog No Thanks to Cake (<– LOVE THAT NAME!).  I made it a little healthier and used my own red velvet recipe, not a box.

This is such a rich, yummy and fun dessert I will definitely make it again… perhaps themed for Christmas or Valentine’s Day! 🙂  I’m calling this Red Velvet Poke Cake (for lack of a better name).

4th of july red velve mixFor the Red Velvet Cake:  Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl-  1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. 

In a separate small bowl, mix the following ingredients: 1 cup fat free buttermilk, 6 tbsp corn oil, 1 tbsp. white vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp red food coloring.

Mix the wet and dry mixtures until fully combined.  Pour into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

4th of july red velvet bake

Meanwhile, you can make the second layer. This is key to get the red velvet cream cheese frosting taste!  Make 1 package of fat free, sugar free cheesecake pudding.  Prepare according to package instructions but don’t mix for as long.  The Pudding should not set completely.

4th of july red velvet cheesecake

When the cake is done, let cool almost completely.  Then, using the handle of a wooden spoon (or similar size), poke the cake!  Yes – fun part! (see- the name Red Velvet Poke Cake is not creative at all.)  Poke many holes.  This will allow the cheesecake pudding to go into the cake. (note: my end cake had a ton more holes than below.  The more the better!)

4th of july red velvet. poke

Then pour the pudding over the top of the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.  I made this last night and it was perfect today!

4th of july red velvet pudding

The top layer is fat free cool whip with a little bit of blue food coloring. Spread 1 tub of cool whip over entire cake.  Top with crumbled  Oreos. Oreos are the perfect topper for this.  It looks yummy and tastes so good.  I think Oreos are the only packaged cookies I will eat.  With that said, they are a must in recipes!  Confession: By the time I got to the top of the cake to add Oreos, one whole section of the Oreo box may have been almost completely gone…

4th of july red velvet bite

The end result was a super delish, moist, rich cake.  The healthier substitutes don’t alter the taste at all! In fact, knowing this makes it even better.

Did you try any new recipes for the 4th?  What are some classic foods always on your table for Independence Day?

Bon Appetite!

Coffee + Cupcakes

mocha cupcakes cover

Coffee and Cupcakes go together like milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly and salt and pepper.  Last night I had a little craving for something sweet, so combining a great pair seemed like a great idea!   However, I learned something the hard way, which seems to be how I learn everything… Mocha Cupcakes should not be eaten close to bedtime!! (duh – right?!) 

mocha cupcakes stove top In a saucepan, melt 6 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder, 6 tbsp sugar,1 heaping tbsp honey and 1 cup water. Heat gradually and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool in a mixing bowl.

When the coffee mixture cools, sift together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa.  Add to coffee mixture and beat until combined.

mocha cupcakesDissolve 1 tsp baking soda in 3 tbsp milk.  Add milk mixture to coffee mixture.  Beat in 1 egg and stir until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Fill cupcake tins to 3/4 full or a little higher.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Pay close attention to make sure the cupcakes don’t over cook.


mocha cupcakes tinsFrosting:  I wanted a light frosting so I got fat free cool whip and just added a dollop on top before serving.  I also sprinkled with cocoa. 


I am all about super easy recipes… this one passes the test for sure!  There were no fancy ingredients and these cooked quickly (another reason cupcakes are my preferred dessert!).  In fact, I’m enjoying my Mocha Cupcake for breakfast right now! 


Today’s agenda includes a tennis lesson (more details to come later on that new adventure), cleaning out a garage, playing with Boom Boom (a pretty cool dog), going to a graduation party and spending some time with my best friend and sister!  Oh yeah, and I’m house sitting this weekend so more pictures to come later of fun times with Boomer!

Make your day a great one!