mini whiskey oatmeal cream pies.

You know those little snack cakes and individually-wrapped treats that every kid had in their brown-bagged lunch growing up?

I wasn’t that kid.  I was the girl with a dinosaur-print thermos full of chicken noodle soup, a plastic bag full of enough carrots to feed a bunny family of 20, and a little can of tomato juice. Weirdest lunch ever, right?

Growing up, my parents never kept any junk food in the house. No candy. No ice cream. No cupcakes. If I wanted a snack, I had to make the tough choice between dehydrated apple slices or vegetables. A few times, my afternoon snack was sauerkraut. Seriously. Sauerkraut. I can’t make this stuff up.

I wonder if my sugar-free childhood had any influence on my decision to go to culinary school and study baking and pastry…

I know my parents had good intentions, keeping the house free of junk food and unhealthy stuff. I totally get it, and I’m actually glad I grew up that way. I didn’t grow up craving foods packed full of artificial flavors, colors, chemicals and preservatives. If I want something sweet, I make it myself.

I’ve never had a Twinkie, or a Snowball, or a Ding Dong, or a Good Time Snackie Cake. That last one’s a real thing, right?

So when Ryan told me how much he loved those little oatmeal cream pies when he was a kid, I knew I had to try my hand at making them! Little itty bitty teeny tiny miniature oatmeal cream pies. They’re adorable! They’re delicious!

…And did I mention they’re full of whiskey? Yup!

Yes friends, these are certainly not the oatmeal cream pies you grew up with–they’re 24928 times better. Honest!

According to my husband, these little babies are in his top three most favorite cookie-type confections I’ve ever baked. Ever! They’re kind of a big deal.

Plenty of brown sugar keeps the oatmeal cookies moist and soft. They’re lightly spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, and good luck not eating all of them before you even get around to assembling the mini pies. They’re damn good cookies on their own. If I were feeling particularly naughty, I might even break up a bunch of them, toss ’em in a bowl, pour over some milk and call that breakfast. Yes.

And the marshmallow cream?! Guys. This stuff is so, so, so delicious. Technically it’s not really marshmallow cream, it’s really a sweet Swiss meringue, the base for my favorite type of buttercream. But I’ll be damned if this brown sugar whiskey-spiked meringue doesn’t taste, act and look exactly like marshmallow cream. Actually, I think it might even be more delicious. Shh. Don’t tell.

If you’re craving a grown-up version of a childhood favorite, you simply must make these mini whiskey oatmeal cream pies! They’re perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, too! Whiskey and oatmeal, together at last!

Mini Whiskey Oatmeal Cream Pies

Yield: 24 miniature oatmeal cream pies

The recipe for the marshmallow cream will yield more than you need to fill the cookies, so store it in an airtight glass jar at room temperature for up to two weeks--if it lasts that long!

Ingredients:

For the Oatmeal Cookies

6 ounces whole wheat pastry flour
0.25 ounces baking powder
0.13 ounces baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (substitute pure vanilla extract)
½ ounce whole milk or half & half
½ ounce Irish whiskey
5 ounces quick-cooking rolled oats

For the Brown Sugar Whiskey Marshmallow Cream

4 ounces egg whites (about 4 eggs' worth)
8 ounces light brown sugar, packed
pinch of kosher salt
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (substitute vanilla extract)

Directions:

For the Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with a rack in the center.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted on, combine the butter, brown sugar and salt. Cream together on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, or until very pale and fluffy.

With the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first is incorporated into the mixture before adding the second.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the vanilla, milk and whiskey on low speed until just combined.

Slowly add the sifted dry ingredients to the mixer bowl, and mix on low until just combined and the dough comes together.

Turn the mixer off and stir in the oats by hand using a silicone spatula.

Using a small cookie scoop (mine holds approximately one teaspoon of dough), portion the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches of room in between cookies.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 5-8 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown and crisp at the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire baking rack to cool completely.

For the Brown Sugar Whiskey Marshmallow Cream

Set a saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water over medium heat and allow to heat until steaming.

Combine the egg whites, brown sugar and salt in either the metal bowl of your stand mixer, or another heat safe bowl.

Place the bowl over the steaming pan of water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.

Whisking often, gently heat this mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Feel the mixture with your fingers (you can wear a glove!) to check for doneness.

When the mixture is no longer grainy, remove the bowl from the saucepan. Place the bowl on the stand mixer with the whisk attachment fitted on.

Whip this mixture on medium-high speed for 8-12 minutes, or until the meringue is light, fluffy and voluminous, and the sides of the bowl are no longer hot.

Turn the mixer off and add the whiskey and vanilla bean paste, and whisk on medium for 30 seconds, or until combined.

Using a spatulate, transfer the marshmallow cream to a piping bag with a small round tip fitted on.

Assembling the Oatmeal Cream Pies

Place one cooled cookie face down on a piece of parchment paper, and pipe about 2 teaspoons' worth of marshmallow cream in the center.

Place a second cookie on top, pressing down gently in the center to coax the marshmallow cream to the outer edges of the cookie sandwich.

Repeat with the remaining cookies until all miniature oatmeal cream pies are assembled. Depending on how large you made your cookies, you should get approximately 24 pies.

Store the oatmeal cream pies in an airtight container at room temperature for two days, or in the fridge for up to four.

cookie recipe adapted from Gisslen's Baking Fundamentals; marshmallow cream recipe a food + words original