Saturday, April 30th is “National Oatmeal Cookie Day” so my friends down at CW-6 Morning News asked that I come in and make an oatmeal cookie with them. It’s not in me to go on the news and just make a plain ol’ oatmeal cookie so I thought I would have some fun with them and create a softer cookie and make a sandwich with a couple of them using a slightly sweet, creamy mixture of cream cheese, mascarpone, powdered sugar and – the coup de gras – Kentucky Bourbon whiskey.
Okay, so this is a play on the “Whoopie Pie,”… sometimes also called a “Moon Pie,” “Devil Dogs,” “The Black & White,” or just a plain ol’ “Gob.”
Basically a Whoopie Pie is a soft cookie… originally chocolate, that is made into a cookie “sandwich” filled with a creamy white frosting mixture. There are adaptations of this cookie, cake, sandwich, however you want to classify it as, dating back to 1835, and there have been dozens of interpretations since.
When I was studying cuisine of the South for my Acme Southern Kitchen (sniff-sniff), I sent away for Junior League Cookbooks and Church Cookbooks from all over the Southern regions of the U.S. There were so many versions of Whoopie Pies (each claiming to be “the best”) that I feel fine riffing on it using an oatmeal cookie and a creamy, booze-infused filling. They love their whiskey in the South and so do I, so hey…. it’s all game in my book.
The key to a good “Sandwich Cookie” is to have a cookie soft enough to bite through without the filling oozing all over and making a big mess, yet be hard enough not to fall apart when you are biting through it.
This recipe has brown sugar rather than white, which will give it a good bend, and the addition of honey achieves another layer of sweetness and helps to keep it on the softer side as well.
Lastly, keep in mind that if you over-bake them they will get crispy…and that’s still a wonderful cookie if you want to skip making “sandwiches” and just want to make a delicious oatmeal cookie.
Bourbon-Spiked Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
¾ Cup Shredded Sweet Coconut
1 Cup Butter Softened
1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
2 TBS Honey
2 Large Eggs (room temp)
1 TBS Vanilla
1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Cups Rolled Oats (not instant oatmeal)
½ Cup Raisins (optional)
6 oz Cream Cheese
6 TBS Mascarpone Cheese
3 TBS Powdered Sugar
1 TBS Bourbon Whiskey (optional, may use vanilla extract instead)
¼ TSP Salt
Heat Oven to 350 degrees
Spread the coconut out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast shaking the pan a few times until lightly browned (about 8 minutes). Allow to cool.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar and honey, beat until becomes fluffy again. Add eggs one at a time and beat along with the vanilla another 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
With the mixer on low… slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold until incorporated, add the dates, raisins and coconut, mix until combined.
Line your baking sheets with parchment.
Allow the cookie dough to rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes or longer until slightly firm.
Using a 4 oz ice cream scoop, place the portioned cookie dough an inch and a half apart on the lined cookie sheets. Using your moistened fingers, gently press cookie down until they are about ½ inch thick.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes, rotate pans, bake for 5-6 more minutes until the centers puff and the edges just begin to brown. (Remember not to over bake these as you want a soft cookie.)
Allow them to cool completely the cookie sheets.
MAKE THE FILLING:
Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the mascarpone, powdered sugar and Bourbon. Be sure to scrap down the sides of the bowl.
Pipe about 2 TBS of the filling between two cookies. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling.