June felt like such a crazy month, and July is going to be even busier. I can’t believe how quickly the months are flying by. The summer has this sort of allure where anything and everything somehow feels more exciting. More possible. Like life was previous at a standstill and summer was that awakening change. Summer brings about adventure–it’s as if the world is giving you permission to explore it with more curiosity and vigor than ever before (you always had that permission, but for some reason, during the summer, it’s bigger. It’s louder).
Well anyways, I think because of the mysterious aura of summer, it’s easier to lose track of time as well. I had kind of worried in the past that when I was no longer a student, summer would not feel the same. There would be no more “summer vacation.” There would be no more amazing adventures and days spent laughing and playing in the sun. But I have to say, summer feels just as wonderful as it always has.
This past weekend in particular, it really hit me though the importance of making time for the things you love and the things that truly reenergize you. While being out and about seeing people and doing things constantly is exciting and fulfilling, it’s also draining for an introvert like me. Baking, of course, is my respite.
This weekend, as I sat in my bed, unrelentingly exhausted, all I could think that I wanted to do was light a few candles, maybe put on a little piano music and bake something delicious. That something delicious that captured my heart ended up being oatmeal cream pies. Aren’t they just pure perfection? Oatmeal cream pies manage to elicit both the nostalgia of childhood and the joy of the present moment as you bite into these soft, chewy cookies, filled with that fluffy, vanilla buttercream center.
As I enjoy one right now, I’m reminded of school field trips and sports team parties. I’m reaching back into my childhood and setting a giant plate right in front of 23-year-old me.
Granted, homemade oatmeal cream pies are wayyy better than the “Little Debbie” packaged ones could ever dream of being. Get out of the way processed nonsense–homemade is where it’s at. This recipe comes from mybakingaddiction.com.💛
Oatmeal Cream Pies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Vanilla Buttercream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (don’t melt)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tbs milk (optional, depending on how thick you’d like your frosting to be)
Preheat the oven to 350º F and grease a cookie sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until combined.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Little by little, fold the dry mixture into the butter mixture until everything is uniform. Add the oats in one cup at a time and stir until combined.
I found that using about a tbs of dough for each cookie was a good size. Roll them into balls and pat down just slightly. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until they start to turn a nice golden brown along the sides.
While the cookies are baking, we can get started on the buttercream frosting. Beat together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until you get a fluffy, whipped texture without any clumps. If you’d like the cream to be a little thinner, add 1/2 tbs of milk at a time.
Once the cookies have finished baking, transfer them to a cooling rack and wait about 15 minutes. Then, simply sandwich a big dollop of frosting between two cookies and enjoy! Try not to eat a million at once (I totally did). A classic suggestion, but these go splendidly with a big glass of milk. 💛