This week’s sweet started with a recipe from Mandy. She shared a recipe for “healthy” oatmeal cookies but then she brought me a batch of those “healthy” cookies smeared with whipped cream cheese frosting from a can. Oh my! They tasted like Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, only better somehow, yet so familiar tasting to those boxed treats, the ones that the lucky kids got packed into their lunchboxes in elementary school. Mandy assured me that without the frosting, they were quite healthy!
I wanted to modify these slightly, to give them a little crunch, to make them a little bit more mine. Mandy made her version with the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose flour and they had an almost chewy texture. I used my favorite flour blend, an additional egg and Udi’s granola in mine. While the original recipe was delicious, the egg and granola added a more cake-like texture and a little surprise crunch in every bite. Both were very tasty and if I were making them for oatmeal cream pies, I would go with Mandy’s original recipe. If I wanted a slightly cake-like cookie, I would use my revision. So here you go, two recipes:
Mandy’s Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of Large Flake Rolled Oats (smaller flake is ok too) (make sure oats are certified gluten-free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Cinnamon (can use about 3 Tbsp–got to love cinnamon)
1/2 tsp Nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (corn, grapeseed or olive) * you can also use some applesauce to replace some of the oil
1 egg (beat with 1 Tbsp Water)
1 tsp Vanilla
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Hint: when measuring
out the honey, spray the measuring cup with oil or baking spray–your honey
2. Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit of flour. If it isn’t binding together very well, you may wish to add an egg white.
3. COOL the mix for 20 minutes in the fridge.
4. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees (lower temperature due to the honey in the
recipe which will burn more easily).
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your baking sheet (I recommend lining the baking
sheet with parchment paper). Press down with a fork to ensure even cooking.
6. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie.
Mandy used whipped cream cheese frosting in a can between two cookies to make the cookiewiches and it was so yummy! I’m not a fan of canned frosting, but it was the perfect flavor to re-create the Little Debbie version.
And here’s my take on this:
Johnna’s Healthy Granola Cookie
1 cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend
1 1/2 cups Udi’s Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 T. Cinnamon
1/3 c. honey
1/2 c. grapeseed oil
2 eggs, beaten with 1 T. water
2 tsp. vanilla
In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients.
In medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients.
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. If mixture is too wet, try adding a little more flour, up to an additional 1/4 cup.
Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 335 degrees (cooler temperature to accomodate honey). Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
After cooling, pair the cookies together in similar shapes, Spread approximately 3 T. of cream cheese frosting between the cookies. YUM!
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
2 t. vanilla bean paste (used for the visual quality as well as taste–I like the little specks in a white frosting)
Using hand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese for about one minute. Slowly incorporate powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Then add vanilla bean paste and whip for about one minute. You may wish to refrigerate for a few minutes before spreading on the cookies.
This week’s Sweet Friend is Jillian. I met Jillian when I entered GlutenFreeville‘s recipe contest. Jillian is the Social Media Coordinator at Udi’s and the person in charge of sending my prize goodies. We have been on-line friends since the recipe contest, chatting back and forth about gluten-free recipes, products and eating well.
I worked in Denver recently and met Jillian for lunch at one of the Udi’s Cafes. I ate at the same one last year, shortly after my gluten intolerance diagnosis and was looking forward to visiting again. Jillian met me at the door with a hug and a gluten-free menu. Everything about Udi’s is just awesome like that and Jillian is the personification of that awesomeness. How nice to meet a friend for lunch, have a menu of choices that would work for me and know that whatever I had for lunch would come on my favorite bread!
Jillian chatted with me and my husband over a delicious lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches about gluten-free baking, eating in Denver, eating in San Francisco (another of my favorite towns in which to eat), good veggie burgers and so much more. While I really enjoy time spent with my foodie friends, I especially enjoy time spent with a foodie who understands eating gluten-free. Lunch with Jillian was a highlight of my Denver trip!
I carried the oatmeal cream pies to Denver on a plane. I baked and froze them the night before, carefully packed them and stowed them gently on the plane. They traveled quite well and would make a great lunchbox treat, even better than Little Debbie! I packed them in a fused plastic tote bag I made with recycled Udi’s bread bags. So much fun and yumminess in one little package. Go on, make these. You’ll be the lucky kid with some pretty healthy goodness in your lunchbox!