First, let me apologize for my absence. December was rough. Fun, but rough. But January is here and I am finally back in the kitchen.
Now, to business.
When I was itty bitty and carried a lunchbox to school, my mom used to pack it full of yumminess. Well, at the time I thought it was yummy. Though I remember being jealous of my friend Leia’s lunch, because she always had more homemade-type things. Years later she told me she was always jealous of my lunch because I had Little Debbie snacks. Today we both win! I’ve been wanting to recreate these cookies for years, but have been lacking what I thought was a great oatmeal cookie recipe. I wanted a thin cookie, one that was chewy enough to hold a soft fluffy filling. After some tweaking, I feel confident in saying that I’ve got it. In this batch I chopped up dates into my dough, but next time I’m thinking currants, because those dates are just too sweet for me!
I scooped the dough into little balls.
And smashed them down with the back of a wet spoon (wet is important if you don’t want them to stick). This might seem like a meaningless step, but it makes the cookies spread nice and thin.
While they were baking, I got to work on the filling. I first tried making a simple vanilla fluff, much like the original. My friend Olaiya happened to swing by at the exact moment I finished and confirmed for me that to make these little guys palatable to adults, I needed some acid. So I decided to go with a lemony filling, to balance out the sweetness of the cookie. I ground lemon zest and half of a vanilla bean into sugar in the food processor until it was nice and crumbly.
I mixed the lemon sugar with egg whites and heated the whole thing up before whipping it into a swiss meringue. Into the meringue I folded in some lemon juice. And then I hid it until the cookies were all ready for sandwiching, because nobody needs a giant batch of fluff within reach.
Once my cookies were cooled, I started stacking. It took me a few hours before I was ready to munch on them, because all the snacking during the testing phase kind of blew me out. When it was time though, oh boy was I happy. Little Debbie, you have been one-upped.
OATMEAL COOKIE RECIPE:
8 oz butter, RT
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, RT
1 egg white, RT
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup AP flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups oats
6 oz chopped dates
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the chopped dates and rub to break up clumps. Add the oats. Set aside.
– Cream butter for 1 minute.
– Add the sugars and cream for 3 minutes.
– Add the egg and vanilla and cream for 2 minutes.
– Add the dry ingredients.
– Scoop onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Press flat with a wet spoon.
– Bake for 11 minutes.
LEMON FLUFF RECIPE:
6 oz egg whites
12 oz sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp lemon juice
– Combine sugar and lemon zest in food processor. Process for 1 minute.
– Combine with egg whites in a kitchen aid bowl. Whisk well.
– Heat over a water bath, whisking constantly until the egg whites reach 160 degrees.
– Remove from water bath and whip for several minutes, until cool and fluffy.
– Whisk in lemon juice.