By Chef Sara
If you have fond memories of a certain packaged oatmeal sandwich cookie, this grown-up vegan makeover is for you! Two soft, chewy oatmeal cookies are sandwiched together with decadent maple buttercream that will leave your friends and family clamoring for the cookie jar. A generous pinch of pumpkin pie spice elevates these simple cookies from yummy to utterly scrumptious, making them the perfect choice for cozy fall gatherings or a holiday cookie exchange.
For a gluten-free option, replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. For a soy-free option, choose a soy-free vegan butter.
Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies with Maple Cream
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup oil, such as grapeseed, canola, or mild-flavored olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup vegan butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 to 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
First, make the cookies. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, applesauce, flaxseed, molasses, and vanilla until well-combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until you have a smooth, slightly runny batter. Add in the oats and mix well. The finished “dough” should be rather wet, yet still hold its shape when scooped.
Use a cookie scoop or two spoons to measure out generous tablespoon-sized mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving roughly 2 inches between cookies. With wet hands, flatten the cookies to about 1/2-inch thickness, re-wetting your hands as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
Transfer the baking trays to the oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops of the cookies no longer look shiny and the cookies are starting to brown around the edges. These cookies are very chewy and moist, so if you poke a cookie with your fingertip, it may seem under-baked. Resist the urge to bake them longer so your finished cookie sandwiches will be moist and chewy, not hard and crunchy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking trays before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Use any remaining dough to bake additional cookies, if necessary.
While the cookies are cooling, make the maple filling. Place the vegan butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add in about 1 cup of powdered sugar and the two extracts, then mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Continue adding one cup at a time, starting on low speed each time, until all the sugar is combined with the butter, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. If the filling is too thick to spread, add a tablespoon of non-dairy milk, then mix on medium-high speed to make a light, fluffy filling. Add additional milk as needed to achieve a spreadable frosting consistency.
When the cookies are completely cool, assemble the cookie sandwiches. Spread a generous amount of frosting on the bottom of a cookie then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are filled.
Store the cookies in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.