Move Over Little Debbie

30 Jul

I would like to start this post by saying that I have absolutely, hands-down, without-a-doubt, the best mom of all time. When I went to visit  her last weekend, she gave me a red Kitchen Aid mixer! Those of you who are reading this probably already read this news on facebook, but I’m so excited about it that I had to share the good news again. 🙂
That being said, I don’t have the slightest clue why she used to buy Little Debbie snack cakes for my sisters and I when we were growing up. Well, I guess I do know. We all loved them. But that was exactly where the problem was. Undoubtedly, if a carton of Little Debbies made it home from the grocery store, it would only be a couple of days (if not hours!) before the box was nearly devoured. Just before the last pre-packaged sugar-high was plucked from the box, there would certainly be an argument about which sister ate the most, who hadn’t had her fair share, and who should get the last one. If it was Zebra Cakes in question, Jessica and I might as well have not even wasted our breath. Kasi was the queen of Zebra Cakes, and you better not think she was going to share the last one either! If the treats in question were Star Crunches, I could usually hold my own.  Nutty Bars? Forget it. Dad always ate and/or hid the box of those before we could even get into an argument. Anyways, enough story telling. 🙂 I honestly haven’t had any Little Debbies in quite some time now, probably because I’ve been baking so much and I’d rather eat something fresh. Lucky for me, I found a recipe the other day which provided a win-win solution to this dilemma. 🙂 I’d never even heard of a homemade Oatmeal Cream Pie, but as soon as I did….I knew I would be trying it soon. 🙂 Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.howtoeatacupcake.net/2010/07/oatmeal-cream-pies.html

Now, this recipe called for an ingredient that I’d never used before: unflavored gelatin. But when it comes to baking, I love trying new things.

Like many baking recipes, the first step is to cream butter and sugar. In this case, brown sugar. YUM. Also add the eggs at this point.

The flour, salt, and baking powder need to be sifted together so that they can become all nice and cozy together. Then add the sifted mixture to the bowl, as well as the cinnamon and oats.

After that, I stirred together the boiling water and baking soda. I’ve never done this before in a recipe, but I was guessing it would fizz (although I’m still not sure what effect this fizz  has on the recipe). I was right! I tried to get a picture of this in action, but it started to die down quickly and I wanted to make sure I stirred it in before it all went away. So here was a picture that I shot quickly. You can still see just a little of the baking powder in action towards the top of the picture.

After stirring this together, it was time to drop the dough onto a cookie sheet. I left plenty of room around the edges of each cookie, because I wasn’t sure how much these would spread while baking.

Good thing I did! The cookies looked huge when I turned on the oven light to check on them. This next picture was honestly just a little experiment. I wanted to take a picture of the cookies while they were baking, but wasn’t sure how it would turn out with the oven light and the camera flash. Worked pretty well, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Here they are just out of the oven. At this point, the kitchen was smelling pretty fabulous. The oatmeal and cinnamon were turning into little bites of edible, magical goodness.

Now, to make the filling. I didn’t take a picture of the unflavored gelatin, but you all know what jello looks like. It’s the same, except without color. I’m sure you can use your imagination to figure out what clear jello looks like. 🙂 Onto the stove goes sugar, light corn syrup, and water. This is looking a little odd. Not like anything I’ve ever made before, but I trust it will all work out in the end.

After boiling for 30 seconds, it is removed from the heat and the gelatin gets added to the mixture. Once it was dissolved, I poured the liquid into my mixing bowl with some vanilla. Here’s what it looks like at this stage:

After being mixed for about 5 minutes, this awkward looking goop had turned into a beautiful, fluffy cloud of stickiness.

The marshmallow cream is almost finished. 🙂 Add a little powdered sugar and vegetable shortening, and you’re all done. Wow, this recipe was time-consuming! By this time I was more than ready to smear some of the filling between two of the cookies and see what the fuss was all about.

Delicious! The only issue I had with these: the outer edges of the cookies were just a little too hard. I’m guessing that I just baked them a little too long. I’ll tweak that a little for next time. For now, I thought the perfect solution would be to just use a cookie cutter to cut out the center of the cookie, which was more moist. Believe it or not, I don’t even own a round cookie cutter!

*Note to self: Make a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy round cookie cutters.*

*Second note to self: Consider making the aforementioned trip to Hobby Lobby while Eric is at work. Sometimes we don’t agree on what is a baking want, and what is a baking need. Of course, since I consider over 50% of the items on the baking aisle as absolute necessities….maybe I can see his point * 😀

I decided to just take out my bag of cookie cutters and decide what shape would work ok, since round wasn’t an option. The heart seemed to be about the right size, so I used that. And it actually turned out quite cute. 🙂

Random thought for the day: What was your favorite snack cake growing up?

The End. 🙂

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3 Responses to “Move Over Little Debbie”

  1. Jessica July 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Yum! My favorites were the little pecan swirls, but I liked to unwind them before I ate them. So they were more like pecan strips I guess : )

  2. Eric July 31, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Going to HL without me huh? Not real sure I like that idea 🙂
    I didn’t have a favorite snack cake per se, unless you count oreo’s 🙂

  3. Kasi August 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Well I don’t think I even need to answer that question! Those oatmeal pies look good!

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