Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Two Nostalgic Desserts

Lately, I've been on a bit of a baking kick. Over the holiday weekend, I decided to make two classics, Oatmeal Cream Pies and Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars. One bite of one of these desserts and you'll be transported back to simpler times.

Much better than the ones from a box!

Oatmeal Cream Pies
*Recipe from Buns In My Oven

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars. Add in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder and oats. Beat into the butter mixture. Once well combined, refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Drop dough in 1 Tbsp size cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Centers should be slightly underdone when you remove the cookies from the oven. Set cookies aside to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the cream filling:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups marshmallow cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp milk, as needed

Cream together the shortening and marshmallow cream. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat using an electric mixer. If needed, thin with a bit of milk. The result should be thick and creamy, but easily spreadable.

Spread about 1 Tbsp filling on the bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie.

Pb and jelly - such a classic combo!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
*Slightly adapted from Health Magazine's Peanut Butter Blondies

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened + more for pan
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup raspberry preserves, seedless
2 Tbsp chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with unsalted butter.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and peanut butter. Add eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Then add to the peanut butter mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms.

Spread batter in the prepared 8x8 pan. Drop the raspberry preserves in small spoonfuls over the top then using a knife, cut it into the dough making a swirl pattern. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.

Bake 30-35 minutes and allow to fully cool before cutting into 16 squares.

I'm looking for suggestions: What dessert should I make next?

- ST

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