Great recipes for great food…
It’s been said that what this country needs is a good 5 cent cigar, but I beg to differ. With diabetes on the rise, what this country needs is a good sugar-free Little Debbie.
For those who are unfamiliar with Little Debbies, they are a line of cakes, cookies, and brownies that are unbelievably delicious, and incredibly addictive. They are loaded with calories and sugar, which is how many of us became diabetic. Next to Hostess, Little Debbies are probably the most popular snack sweets on the planet.
My favorite Little Debbie product was the unique oatmeal cookies with the creamy center that sent me into sugar heaven. The other day, I got in my mad scientist mode (some people drink when they get depressed or antsy…I cook…), and decided to try to create a sugar-free version of my beloved Little Debbies (which I can no longer have). The trick was to come up with a good sugar-free oatmeal cookie. I have used several recipes before and they all turned out as oatmeal biscuits, didn’t taste right, or have the right texture. After several experiments, I came up with an oatmeal cookie that was almost indistinguishable from a normal commercial cookie. These can be used all by themselves if you wish. To make the Little Debbies, all I had to do was come up with a sugar-free filling that tasted good. Thankfully, I had to go no further than the Bi-Lo at the bottom of the mountain, and buy a can of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Sugar-Free Vanilla Frosting. It is a dead-ringer for commercial creme filling used in donuts, Hostess Cupcakes, Twinkies, and Little Debbies. When I spread the filling on a cookie, and put another cookie on top of it, I was blown away. These taste just like Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookies.
Just remember, sugar-free does not mean calorie free. You will need to work these into your diet plan. each cookie has around 250 calories, but the good news is that it is mostly dietary fiber, and only 75 from unsaturated (good) fats.
So, here is my version of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookies-sans sugar:
1-1/2 cups oatmeal (I grind my own, but store-bought is OK)
¾ cup soft winter or spring wheat, medium ground (all-purpose flour is OK)
½ cup raisins
½ cup lard (butter is OK, or shortening for vegans)
½ cup brown sugar substitute (½ cup Splenda + 2 Tbsps Sugar-Free Maple Syrup)
¼ cup Splenda
½ tsp each of cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ground cloves and nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tub of Pillsburys Sugar Free Vanilla Frosting (or similar)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
I use my mixer to blend the ingredients, but you can also do them by hand. Just be sure to get the order right. First, cream the lard and sugars together. Next, add the egg and vanilla. Mix well, then add the oatmeal and raisins.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift together all of the rest of dry ingredients 4 times, and add to the batter. Mix the batter until all of the ingredients are blended.
You can use a scoop, shape the cookies by hand, or a fork. Just drop or form ping-pong ball sized batter goblets onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or sheets), then mash them flat. Space them about 1 inch apart. They won’t spread out much.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown and starting to crisp well on the edges. Remove to a cooling rack, and flip the cookies over to make them nice and flat. Allow to cool. You can eat them as-is, or continue to the next step.
Open the tub of frosting. When the cookies are completely cool, place about a Tbsp of frosting on half of the cookies. Spread it gently so as not to break the cookies. Now, place another cookie on top of each one, and gently press, without breaking the cookie, to make them stick together.
You can attack them immediately, or store in zip lock bags. I don’t know how long they will keep because none has ever survived more than 12 hours before being eaten by someone. I doubt if long-term storage will ever be an issue…..