Friday, September 13, 2013

Chewy Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Candied Ginger Creme Filling

http://menumusings.blogspot.com/2013/09/chewy-oatmeal-sandwich-cookies-with.html

These beautiful chewy oatmeal sandwich cookies have a little something up their sleeve!  The sweet creme filling is dotted with spicy sweet bits of candied ginger.  I really enjoy having something traditional that has a bit of new twist to it - call it food A.D.D if you'd like.  

These look like something you would have to special order, but they are crazy easy to make.  Just follow along with me, and we'll make them together - step-by-step!  And you probably have most of these ingredients on hand already.  :)

Click for Printable Recipe

Ingredients: (for 6 - 7 large sandwich cookies)

Cookies - 
    http://menumusings.blogspot.com/2013/09/chewy-oatmeal-sandwich-cookies-with.html
  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all purpose (AP) flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Filling - 
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cold water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped candied (crystallized) ginger

Step-by-Step:
Let me first note that you can make both the cookie dough and the filling ahead of time, taking out to make the cookies as you wish.

Note - You will see probably more steps than necessary here, but I wanted to illustrate the point that kids are quite adept in the kitchen.  My daughter is 4, but you will see here carefully leveling off her dry ingredients for a correct measurement.

Let's work on the cookie dough first.
First, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats, plus 3/4 cup all purpose (AP) flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder


Add the butter, sugar, and molasses to a mixing bowl. 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp molasses
Beat together on medium-high until fluffy.  This may take several minutes. 

Now mix in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla
Now comes the obligatory taste test.
Now reduce the mixer speed to LOW and add the flower/oats mixture.  Beat until combined. 

Stir in the pecans by hand.
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate until chilled... even overnight is fine.  I was fairly impatient, so I put mine in the freezer for about an hour.
So while the cookie dough was chilling, we moved on to the creme filling.

Filling -
Yep.  I switched kids.  I have to make "deals" these days.  They get jealous if one gets to do everything.  And just by the way, there is a big difference between the attention span and level of care between my two.  Notice the counter gets a LOT messier when Canon helps me.  Lily is much more careful in her technique!  LOL

We are going to beat together the confectioner's sugar, vegetable shortening, salt and vanilla.  The mixture will seem dry and crumbly, but should come together in the end.  If not, add a bit more water to it.
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
Gasp!  Look at the counter! 
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (you know I like the clear vanilla best)
Mix to combine.
It will look like course sand or something.
Chop the candied ginger into small bits and add to the creme filling.  Stir to incorporate.  If you aren't using the filling now, you can cover and refrigerate.  If making the cookies now, there's no need.
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped candied (crystallized) ginger
Okay - back to the cookies...

I lined my two baking sheets with parchment paper for easy release.  Form the dough into 12 balls.  These were about 2 Tbsp each.  Arrange them with plenty of room between this to accommodate spreading.
Flatten them a bit with the backside of a fork.
I want to take this opportunity to say that I would probably have had more cookies than this, however some little hands kept coming into the kitchen and snatching some cookie dough every time my head was turned!

Bake for 15 minutes.  Halfway through, I switched the position of the baking pans, since I'm always worried that the top pan and bottom pan may cook differently.  Allow to cool for a while on the baking pan to firm up, then you can transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Assembly -
So when the cookies are cool, we are ready to put these together.  I transfered my ginger creme filling to a sheet of plastic wrap and formed it into a log.
I sliced the creme filling into 6 equivalent portions.  Can you see how pretty the ginger is in there? 
I now rolled each piece of filling until approximately the same size as the cookies.  It will be quite stiff, and it is not really spreadable, so rolling works great here. 
Now its just a matter of topping each of the cookie bottoms with some ginger creme, then top with the second cookie.  Gently press them together.
 
Pretty, huh?
Yummmm!!!!
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Written Method:
Step-by-Step:
You can make both the cookie dough and the filling ahead of time, taking out to make the cookies as you wish.

Let's work on the cookie dough first.
First, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 

In a separate bowl, add the butter, sugar, and molasses. Beat together on medium-high until fluffy.  This may take several minutes.  Now mix in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to LOW and add the flower/oats mixture.  Beat until combined.  Stir in the pecans by hand.
Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate until chilled... even overnight is fine. 

Filling -
Beat together the confectioner's sugar, vegetable shortening, salt and vanilla.  The mixture will seem dry and crumbly, but should come together in the end.  If not, add a bit more water to it.  Mix to combine.  It will look like course sand or something.  Chop the candied ginger into small bits and add to the creme filling.  Stir to incorporate.  If you aren't using the filling now, you can cover and refrigerate.  If making the cookies now, there's no need.

Okay - back to the cookies...
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper for easy release.  Form the dough into 12 balls of about 2 Tbsp each.  Arrange them with plenty of room between this to accommodate spreading.  Flatten them a bit with the backside of a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Halfway through, I switched the position of the baking pans, since I'm always worried that the top pan and bottom pan may cook differently.  Allow to cool for a while on the baking pan to firm up, then you can transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

Assembly -
So when the cookies are cool, we are ready to put these together.  Transfer the ginger creme filling to a sheet of plastic wrap and formed it into a log.  Slic the creme filling into 6 equivalent portions. 

Roll each piece of filling until approximately the same size as the cookies.  It will be quite stiff, and it is not really spreadable, so rolling works great here. Now its just a matter of topping each of the cookie bottoms with some ginger creme, then top with the second cookie.  Gently press them together.

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