I have a rule that every time I make a brand new recipe, I follow that recipe exactly as it is written. No weird changes, substitutions, adjustments… if I haven’t tasted the recipe yet, how can I already be judging its worth? It’s like people. Wanting to change a person’s shoes before you date them is superficial and mean. Not to mention weird. “Hey, I’d love to go to the movies, but could you wear some polished wingtips instead of those boat shoes? Okay, thanks!”
The rule also gives me a scapegoat. “WHY is this texture so weird, I followed the recipe EXACTLY. Clearly they did something wrong.”
However, I am terrible at following my own rule.
I totally substitute in first time recipes. Reduce flour. Add fruit. Subtract nuts. Add unicorns.
Wait… not that last one.
I made the rule a long time ago as a way to force myself into learning what others did in the kitchen as opposed to deciding I knew what was best. How could I change a great recipe without trying it when I didn’t understand the difference between all-purpose flour and cake flour?
But I know better now (it’s in the protein levels) and certain things just don’t jive with me in recipes that I can spot from the get go. It’s like… maybe now you’ve gone on a few blind dates and gotten a better hold on what your dream guy needs to be. Not on a shoe level, but on an interests and personality level. Then, viewing a dating profile of a potential mate, you notice they’ve cut sugar out of their diet for the last 5 years and they now regularly post about the evils that sugar commits to the human body. Is it judgmental to already conclude he could never be your one and only?
But occasionally, something makes so little sense to me, in such an unfamiliar way, that I just let it slide. Oh, you like mexican hat dancing on moonlit beaches in the fall? Uh, okay, that’s… probably cool.
In this recipe, it was this line: “Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Rotate sheets front to back and top to bottom; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will appear underdone and shiny in centers), 7–8 minutes longer. Do not overbake.”
Wait. What? I’m used to small 1 oz. cookies baking for 7-10 minutes. MAYBE 12. Tops. The whole thing sounded like a contradiction, suggesting a total bake time of 19-20 minutes, while warning not to overbake at the same time. Was this possible? Was there some magic ratio to the cookie ingredients requiring a bake time much longer than I was used to?
I assumed there was something I must be missing, ignored my gut, and baked the cookies for 12 minutes, rotated the pans, and took them out 7 minutes later.
Rock. Hard. Cookies.
So I restarted. Reduced the volume of cherry/pecan/chocolate extras. Reduced the cooking time. And, on a roll, completely reworked the plain marshmallow fluff concept into a delicious marshmallow cream cheese filling.
Hey, Amanda from 7 years ago. Yeah, you. See this face? This smug face I’m making? This is my “I’m ignoring your rule and taking responsibility from now on for my baking choices” face. It’s a face with a smear of marshmallow fluff across the left cheek. What’s that? …Yeah, I know that’s a really long name for this one simple face.
Wanna fight about it?
Didn’t think so.
Oatmeal Cookie Moon Pies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
So my recipe for filling is about twice as much as you need. I got a little ambitious about how full I wanted to make my moon pies and got a little ridiculous. I was able to use it up as I discovered rock hard cookies soften when slathered with frosting and are allowed to sit in an airtight container for a day. :) You should be able to cut the filling recipe in half without issue, but a fair warning is I haven’t tried to yet.
Also, the original recipe has a chocolate dipping sauce that I skipped because I was taking these to a big party and they were messy enough already, but check it out if you’re not worried about potentially dripping chocolate sauce on a friend’s carpet!
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 3/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (4 ounces), chopped into chocolate chip-size chunks
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Marshmallow Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 cup shortening (you can use butter instead but it’s a lot more likely to ooze out as butter melts at room temp. and shortening does not)
- 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups marshmallow creme
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cookies: Arrange rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350°. Line 3 baking sheets (or two large ones) with parchment paper or silipat.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine oats, cherries, pecans, and chocolate in a large bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in another large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat to blend. Scrape down sides of bowl. With machine running at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just to blend. Stir in oat mixture with a wooden spoon just to blend.
- Using a 1-oz. ice cream scoop or scooping out 2 level tablespoonfuls of dough, measure dough into 36-40 portions. Divide among baking sheets. Using your hands, gently press down on each dough ball to flatten tops, but still keep dough thick.
- Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 11-12 minutes, until cookies are golden and still look slightly shiny and undone in the centers. Do not overbake. Let cookies cool on baking sheets.
- Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening, cream cheese and marshmallow creme on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar slowly on low speed until fully incorporated, then add vanilla. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes if too loose.
- Spread a generous heaping tablespoon of filling on half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies.
Note: Unfilled cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.