I have a particular fondness for gluten free chocolate chip cookies of every stripe. They’re a classic, of course, for good reason. They’re the first to go at a party, no matter how many fancy schmancy desserts are served. There’s just something about that perfect balance of cookie and occasional chocolate, isn’t there? Now, of course the most celebrated Little Debbie brand creme pie is the Oatmeal Creme Pie. My new book, Gluten Free Classic Snacks, has an already very popular recipe for those on page 115. Some of you have even posted photos on our Facebook page showing off your beautiful creme pies, and they nearly bring a tear to my eye in all their perfection (more photos! share more photos!). But then there’s the Little Debbie Chocolate Chip Creme Pie. Somehow less celebrated, but frankly no less delectable. This recipe for Little Debbie-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Creme Pies didn’t make it into the book (I’m honestly not even sure if I even considered it!), but luckily we still meet here on the blog every week of the year. So let’s get to it.
First, the obligatory just-like-the-box photo at the bottom of the step by steps had to happen. Right? But beyond that, these are easy peasy. You really just need to be sure to measure your ingredients by weight whenever possible (always by weight!), and not to overbake the cookies. We’re going for a thick but uniform chewy chocolate chip cookie. It should yield to your bite, just like the “real thing.”
I submit this, though: these are better than the “real thing,” because you made them yourself—with love. Not to get all weepy on you, but when your kid opens up that lunch box and finds a copycat Little Debbie in there? They won’t forget it. You’re marrying your own childhood memories with the new ones you’re creating. Think about how important your memories are of that one Little Debbie per week your grandmother bought you. Now imagine your child reminiscing about how they couldn’t have the packaged ones, so mom or dad (or grandma or grandpa or that special aunt, uncle or neighbor!) made them from scratch. Never underestimate the power of a homemade snack cake. :)
First, prepare the cookies. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, shortening, egg, corn syrup and vanilla, and cornstarch-dusted chocolate chips, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough should be thick but not stiff. Divide it into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll them into smooth balls between your palms and press into disks about 1/3-inch thick. Place about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets, and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the freezer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the cookies are very lightly golden brown on the edges and set in the center, about 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Stiff Sandwich Cookie Filling while the cookies are cooling, following the recipe instructions but adding more milk by the teaspoonful, beating well after each addition, until the filling is a bit softer but will still hold its shape. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain piping tip (or a large zip-top bag with a 1/2-inch hole cut in the corner) and invert half of the cookies. Once the cookies are cool, pipe about 3 tablespoons of filling on the inverted cookies and top with the other cookies to form a sandwich.