Remember those oatmeal cookie sandwiches with the creamy, sweet filling that you used to swipe from vending machines and beg your parents for in the grocery store? Well, these are those, only a million times healthier. A cause for healthful indulgence? We think, yes.
These oatmeal cookie sandwiches are almost 100% vegan and made with healthful ingredients like rolled oats, grated carrots, whole wheat flour and banana. Though the inspiration for the recipe was pre-packaged oatmeal cream pies, these little guys take the treat to a whole new level and are even better than the original (we think).
Rolled oats and grated carrots take center stage in the cookie “dough” that turns out almost more cakey than cookie, thanks to the addition of mashed banana and a limited amount of butter.
Plus, the assembly process is so simple! Just two bowls required and a 20-minute baking time. Then, once they’re cooled, bring on the frosting; a healthier frosting, of course.
The two-ingredient filling is comprised of low-fat cream cheese and honey – that’s it – and it’s so delicious. If you’re keeping this recipe vegan, simply sub vegan cream cheese and use agave instead of honey. You and your guests will never be able to tell the difference.
Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches
yields about 9 sandwiches / 18 individual cookies
1 cup freshly grated carrot, patted dry
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water), or sub 2 small chicken eggs
1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (about 1 small banana)
2 Tbsp butter (non-dairy for vegan), melted (or sub coconut oil)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use 1/2 cup all purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 cup oat flour (ground from whole oats)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup raw or roasted pecans, loosely chopped (optional)
8 ounces light cream cheese (vegan cream cheese if making vegan), softened
3-6 Tbsp honey or agave nectar (depending on preferred sweetness)
Method | Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add 2 Tbsp flaxseed + 5 Tbsp water and whisk. Let set for a few minutes until thickened. Add mashed banana, melted butter (or coconut oil), grated carrot, brown sugar, vanilla, almond milk and stir. In a separate large bowl, mix all dry ingredients and the nuts.
A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir. A fairly thick dough should form. Since there are no eggs, it’s safe to dip your finger in and give it a taste. I added a bit more brown sugar to sweeten mine up a bit. Otherwise, just set in the fridge to firm up for 5-10 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with non-stick spray. Scoop large portions of batter (about 1.5-2 Tbsp) out with two spoons and slightly flatten them. Be sure to set them at least 1 inch apart as they’ll spread a little. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until edges begin to brown and the middle is just set. Once done, let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then cool for 20-30 more minutes on a cooling rack.
Prepare cream cheese filling in the meantime by mixing softened cream cheese with desired amount of honey. To thicken, add a little all purpose flour or powdered sugar (optional). Once the cookies are completely cooled (chilling in the freezer helps them cool even faster), sandwich two equal sized cookies together with a thick layer of filling in between. You will have leftover filling, which you can use on bagels, cupcakes or muffins. Enjoy immediately, keep in a covered in the fridge for a few days, or freeze for later use.
These little guys are so moist, flavorful and delicious you won’t be able to stop at one. Trust me, I tried. But it’s OK because they’re a healthful indulgence at only 270 calories a pop – that’s an indulgence you can justify. Enjoy!
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photos by Dana Shultz