-by Kelly Rudnicki

Makes 24 Pies

Readers of my blog www.foodallergymama.com already know that I have quite a sweet tooth and an obsession with Little Debbie Snacks. I grew up loving all her treats, but my favorite one was the Oatmeal Crème Pies. They were individually wrapped in all their glory, perfect for my lunchbox. I rediscovered that love when I was pregnant with my 3rd child Matthew, and those pies were the only thing that cured my terrible morning sickness. I went through a box every two days. I wanted to recreate the magic of these pies for my son John, and all my other kids who never get to have any Little Debbie treats in our house. It is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and promise it will be yours too.

1 1/2 sticks dairy free margarine
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)

4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoon soy or rice milk
1/2 cup dairy free shortening

Make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dairy free margarine, brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla and water until mixed well.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to the margarine mixture and mix well. Stir in the oats with a rubber spatula.

Use mini cookie scooper to divide dough evenly onto parchment paper. Bake 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly on parchment sheets.

While cookies are baking, make the filling:

Combine all filling ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium until creamy.

When the cookies are cooled, spread a generous amount (I love the crème part to seep through the edges for the ultimate flavor) on the flat side of one cookie, and then top with another similar sized cookie. Wrap each “pie” in plastic wrap to keep fresh for up to two days.

Makes 12 muffins

One of my favorite bakeries, Tags in Evanston, IL serves the best Morning Glory Muffins. They traditionally contain nuts, but this version is completely dairy, egg and nut free.

1/2 cup Vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup soy or rice milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose or gluten-free flour
3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded, peeled carrots
3/4 cup shredded, peeled apples (I use Granny Smith, but any variety will do)
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with dairy free baking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the vegetable oil, soymilk, vanilla and water with a wire whisk. In a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt with a wire whisk. Add the soymilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in the grated, peeled carrots and apples until completely mixed. Stir in the raisins.

Use a cookie scooper to divide muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and store in an airtight container for several days.

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