Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cream-Filled Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies with a Twist

The twist. Ahh the twist is the addition of Maple Extract. I don't bake with it often enough, and it's the perfect addition to so many fall and winter dishes (both sweet and savory).

I know some people are not fond of maple anything, and then some go wild over maple everything. Both my parents were fanatics about maple walnut ice cream and maple walnut coffee cake. So that was my inspiration when I decided to put this experiment together last night. There are a few steps to making these little darlings, but the results are so worth it. And as usual, I've tried to cut some calories and sugar. There might be some future tweaking, but for now...this is a yummy cookie your maple lovers will adore.

Cream-Filled Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies
makes approximately 20-22 sandwich cookies

8 oz Neufchatel cheese softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (1 stick)
1/2-3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 T Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or 2 T regular brown sugar)
1 tsp natural maple extract
1/3 cup finely chopped or ground walnuts

1 cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
1 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (same amount if you're using granulated sugar)
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or 1 cup regular brown sugar)
2 large eggs at room temp
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp natural maple extract
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped or ground walnuts

I like to make my filling first. In medium size bowl, combine your butter and Neufchatel. I use a hand mixer. Now add your sugars and maple extract.

And fold in your ground nuts.

Wrap filling in plastic wrap and set aside in your refrigerator to set up and let the flavors meld.

Let's make the cookies. Pre heat your oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment. In medium size bowl, combine salt, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk with a fork or spoon to incorporate. No need for any sifting. Set aside.

On to the batter. Place butter and sugars in a large bowl. With hand mixer combine sugars and butter until smooth. Add eggs and both extracts and incorporate.

Now add the flour mixture in two batches to the wet ingredients and combine. And fold in the oats, raisins and chopped walnuts.

I usually just plop my oatmeal dough by teaspoonfuls onto the parchment paper, but since I was filling these little beauties, I decided to make them into 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch balls, so they would all be pretty uniform in size.

Bake each cookie sheet 9 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack and remove cookies to paper towels to finish setting up. And amazingly enough, the cookies are all pretty much the same size. I lucked out on that one.

While cookies are cooling, remove the filling from the fridge, let it come to almost room temp so filling the cookies will be a snap. Lovingly pile a teaspoon to a tablespoon of the maple infused filling on to the bottom (flat side) of one cookie and top with a second. Keep going, and be sure to sample at least one (or two). They really are yummy.


Didi Dalaba said...

I can tell they will be yummy my Linda dolly!! Just from the picture alone, then you read these amazing ingredients, OMG!! I can't wait to make these, my family will love them, and I love the addition of the maple!!

Grandmereb Lovestobake said...

I am with Didi! These sound fantastic! You are something Linda!

Linda said...

Thanks gals, and super thanks for the share Didi.

DeeDee2012 said...

Hi Linda, I just sent an email to myself to bake these! I know anything from your kitchen will be yummy! Can't wait!

Linda said...

Thanks Dee Dee, they were a big hit with those I shared with at work. Hope you like them!