Let’s be honest for a minute. There’s always something brewing in most our minds that fills us with some sort of “guilt” factor, am I right? If it’s not engrained in our personalities, the world throws enough out there to attempt and make us feel guilty about something we are inevitably “doing wrong.” For me, it’s usually mom guilt on many different levels. Am I spending enough one on one time with each girl? Which school would be best for my oldest, full day vs. half day? Will my kids love tanks be full when I return to work? Is the food I’m feeding my family the most nutritional? The list goes on…
For this reason (amongst many others,) I recreate some of my family’s favorite store bought treats whenever possible. There truly is no reason we can’t eat real food that isn’t full of GMO, preservatives and refined sugars but have to compromise in flavors. These cookies are proof of my last statement.
One of my daughters favorite store bought cookies are the vanilla cream filled cookies. While she’s never eaten the Oreo brand, even the healthier options weren’t what I preferred her to be eating if I could help it. So I challenged myself to create a version of that cookie sans refined sugars (or as limited as possible) and GMO.
I struggled with the cream filling part and my husband, after two attempts looked at me and told me it was impossible. This is, after all THE most important part of the cookie! Think of all the children and adults alike who eat that part first! It had to be perfect. A trip to my local co-op led me to find the perfect products and eventually perfect the cream filling. Happiness ensued as my oldest told me with joy that these cookies were better than the store bought version. I can’t stress enough to seek out a local co-op when possible. The ingredients are fresh, local and the variety of healthy alternatives to every day pantry items never disappoints.
Enjoy baking these for your family, friends – or even yourself for that matter. Then enjoy crossing one more item off the guilt list, should you have one.
For the cookies:
- 1.5 cup organic, room temperature butter
- 3/4 cup Organic grade A, medium amber maple syrup (I used Target’s Archer Farm brand which is also non-GMO.)
- 1 organic egg, room temperature
- 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached AP flour
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup Nutiva Red Palm + Coconut Oil Shortening
- 3 cups Wholesome organic powdered confectioners sugar
- 1 tbsp Wholesome organic cane sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp organic whole milk
- In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together maple syrup + butter on medium speed 2 minutes. Add in egg + vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Slowly mix in the flour and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Divide the dough in two balls and place each ball between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll out the dough while between the parchment paper to desired thickness of the cookies. The thinner the dough, the crunchier the cookies will be.
- Refrigerate a minimum of two hours in advance to baking, but as far in advance as 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350. Remove one rolled dough disc from the fridge at a time to keep the alternate dough cold as long as possible.
- Using a 2″ cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and transfer to a parchment sheet or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes or until the edges of each cookie turn a golden brown one pan at a time.
- Without over kneading, continue the process of the remaining scraps until all the dough has been baked.
- Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cookies are cooled, using your mixer with the whisk attachment, add all the ingredients for the filling to the mixer and whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Frost or pipe the filling onto half the baked cookies, reserving the second half of the batch to place atop each frosted cookie. The amount of filling you use is your choice, per your preference! This recipe yields 20-25 cookies, depending on how thick or thin you cut each individual cookie.