What I love about these Gingerbread Oatmeal Cream Pies is taking a childhood flavor memory and turning it on its holiday head! Adding festive flavor to something so familiar is what makes homemade worthwhile.
That's the fun of baking something fresh, you can give it a twist and truly infuse memories for whoever enjoyed them.
I would call most of the cookie ingredients pantry staples. I feel like I could whip up these cookies are the drop of a hat. But I do like to make my own Gingerbread Spice Mix, it lets me have even more customization options.
And one great note to keep in your back pocket is that if you do not have dark brown sugar. Simply use light and add an extra tablespoon of molasses to get the flavor of the darker sugar.
The same sentiment as the cookie goes for the filling. The ingredient list is simple, it just comes down to technique. But more on that next.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
Let's start with the cookie. As with any cookie, you want to cream the butter and sugars together until very light and fluffy. This takes 3-4 minutes, literally set a timer and give it the time it deserves.
Then work in the dry ingredients and portion out the cookies. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill them for 20-30 minutes before baking.
Then bake them until they just start to turn golden brown and let them cool on the tray so they set completely. Letting them cool on the tray gives the outside a crisp, while the middle stays soft.
Next, make the filling by, again, creaming the butter till fluffy and almost white. Then add the vanilla and spice mix. Slowly work in the sugar, then beat till fluffy.
Now that the filling is made and the cookies are cooled, turn half the cookies upside down and fill them with a good heaping tablespoon of the cream. Top with a second cookie and press until the cream spreads to the edge.
If you want to be super festive, for you or the kids, you can use a mini gingerbread man cookie cutter and cut the middles out of some of the cookies and then fill them the same way, allowing some of the cream to press through the cutout. You can also fill the cutouts for smaller cookies for kids or light bites.
I love the fun of cutting out the shapes, it just adds a little whimsy and makes it literal. And I like that. It is fun and my nephew LOVES it!
Notes & Tips
If dark brown sugar isn't something you keep on hand, I know I typically only keep light in my pantry. You can add an extra tablespoon of molasses to the recipe to enhance the flavor that the dark brown sugar brings.
Chilling the cookies is a very important step and not to be skipped. It ensures the cookies do not spread to far and become too thin. It also give the oatmeal some time to hydrate.
If you cut out the centers of some of the baked cookies with gingerbread man cutters, just work slowly and apply even pressure so the cookies don't split at the smallest points. If this does happen, it is super forgiving and when you press the cut cookie onto another with filling, you can press it together and it will stay put.
As noted earlier, light brown sugar can be swapped for dark. If you do this add and extra tablespoon of molasses to the recipe.
If you don't make your own Gingerbread Spice Mix simply use some cinnamon and nutmeg at a minimum.
Be sure to use quick cooking oats, using rolled oats is on, but quick cooking is better.
I like the addition of pecans in my oatmeal cream pies, but if you have an allergy and need to leave them out, or don't have any on hand you can omit them altogether.