oatmeal cream sandwich cookie on a plate

Cookies and Pies: Recipes from the NC Mountain State Fair

If you’ve been to see me at the GotToBeNC Cooking Stage at the 2022 NC Mountain State Fair at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, NC – or if you’ve been following along on my social media; I know you are hungry for the recipes our featured chefs have been creating. Nothing like starting on the sweet side of things. In this post you’ll find all the recipes from Pastry Chefs Savanna Brodar and Whitney King, both featuring during first weekend of the fair. On the menu: Cookies and Pies. Keep reading and get set, your sweet tooth is about to do a happy dance.

Cookies and Pies from Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar

chef holding a cookie

The first day of the fair featured Chef Savanna Broder, now executive pastry chef at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Charlotte. Savanna

Marshmallow Fluff-Stuffed, Caramel-Dipped Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

By Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar, 2022 GotToBeNC Culinary Ambassador, Charlotte NC

For the Oatmeal Cookies ( makes 50 – recipe may be easily cut in half or into quarters)

5 1/2 sticks Butter

2 ½ cups Granulated sugar

2 ¼ cups packed Brown sugar

5 NC eggs

2 Tbsp. Vanilla

6 cups all purpose  flour

8 cups quick cook Oatmeal

2 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

1 ½ Tbsp. Baking Powder

1 ½ Tbsp. Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

 In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars

 Add the whole eggs and vanilla scraping the bowl well

 Slowly add the oatmeal

 Once the oatmeal is fully incorporated, slowly add all dry ingredients, but do not over mix

Once dough is fully mixed, scoop cookies and bake at 325 for 8-10 minuets

For the Marshmallow Fluff

5 Large egg whites

½ tsp. Cream of tartar

1 2/3 cup Granulated sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

Start with a clean dry bowl.

Here’s a pro tip to insure your bowl is grease – , oil – or soap-free before you begin to make your meringue: Wipe your clean mixer bowl and whisks down with lemon juice or vinegar. Rise with hot water and dry well. Then proceed with the recipe.

Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar

How Savanna Brodar makes Meringue aka Marshmallow Fluff for her Cookies and Pies

little girl in green shirt cracks eggs for cookies and pies
Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar had a very helpful volunteer at the Cooking stage. “Miss B” was a pro at cracking and separating these NC eggs. Savanna showed her how to crack them one at a time in a small bowl and then separate the egg whites into one bowl for meringue and the egg yolks into another bowl for creams and custards.

Place egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.

Take the bowl of egg whites off of the mixer and place over a large saucepan with 1 to 2 quarts of simmering water.  

Stir the eggs and sugar mixture constantly with a whisk until the mixture is hot, no longer grainy to the touch, and reads 160F on a candy thermometer. This will take a total of  2-3 mins.

Transfer bowl back to your stand mixer and whip on med-high until the meringue is stiff (about 5-7 minutes).

Slowly stream in vanilla while the meringue is whipping. Taste and add more flavoring if desired.

For the Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar

6 Tbsp.  salted butter,  at room temperature cut up into 6 pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

1 tsp. salt

 Heat granulated sugar in a medium heavy-duty saucepan (avoid using non-stick) over medium heat. Stir constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to  stir. Don’t leave the sugar unattended or it will burn.

Once sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until melted and combined.

Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.

If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumps up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. (If you’re nervous for splatter, wear kitchen gloves. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually– just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.

After the butter has melted and combined with the caramelized sugar, stir constantly as you

very slowly pour in the heavy cream. Since the heavy cream is colder than the hot caramel, the

mixture will rapidly bubble when added. After all the heavy cream has been added, stop stirring

and allow to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

 Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using. Caramel thickens as it cools.

To Assemble the Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

oatmeal cream sandwich cookie on a plate

For each sandwich, top a 1 cookie with a layer of marshmallow fluff. Top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Hold the cookie and carefully dip one half of your sandwich into the caramel sauce. Sprinkle with a finish of sea salt and enjoy!

Mini Hand Pies filled with NC Apples or NC Sweet Potatoes are like cookies and pies all at the same time

By Pastry Chef Savanna Brodar, 2022 GotToBeNC Culinary Ambassador, Charlotte NC

a platter of finished hand pies on a stick is like eating cookies and pies all at the same time

For the pie dough

A tablespoon or 2 short of 2 cups of  All purpose flour

1 tsp. Salt

6 tsp. Granulated sugar

3 sticks cold Butter

3.2 oz  COLD Water

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

In a  stand mixer fitted with the  paddle attachement, mix the flour, salt, sugar, butter until the butter is small and “pea sized.” (You want your dough to be crumbly at this point)

Combine water and vinegar and add half the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix for 10 seconds on low speed to hydrate the flour mixture.

Add remaining liquid and mix until the dough is shaggy but holds together when pressed between two fingers.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gently shape into desired sized rounds.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

For the Apple Pie Filling

2 lbs Your favorite NC Apples (thinly sliced)

4 Tbsp. Granulated sugar

4 Tbsp. Light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

Zest of One Half of a lemon

2 Tbsp. Vanilla

1 tsp.Cinnamon

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

1/8 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp. Butter

Pinch of Cornstarch

In a medium sized saucepan, mix together apples, sugars, zest, juice spices and salt. Let sit for at least 10 minutes so that the apples soak in the flavors of the spices. Then cook the apple on low Heat, stirring occasionally until soft

Add butter and cornstarch, stir and cook until the mixture is thick.

For the NC Sweetpotato Filling:

Bake 2-3 large sweetpotatoes in an oven or microwave until tender. Peel and mash. Add in 2 eggs and a mix of cinnamon and sugar to taste.

Did You Know?

North Carolina is the #1 sweetpotato producer in the United States; and what you are reading isn’t a typo. The words “sweetpotatoes” and  “sweetpotato” are actually spelled as one word. not “sweet potatoes”.

In 2019, the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission encouraged the state general assembly to take action to officially change the traditional spelling of “sweet potato” to “sweetpotato,” and it passed. Since then, the state officially spells sweetpotato as one word, 

To Make the Handpies:

Roll the pie dough out into a thin sheet. Use you favorite cookie cutters to cut shapes, You’ll need 2 of each shape for each handpie.

Making cookies and pies all in one recipe, making a hand pie on a stick
Take care to crimp the hand pie dough around the filling and around the stick

For the sake of this recipe, let’s say you are working with rounds. Top one round with a bit of your filling of choice. Err on the side of less filling rather than more. Top with a second round of dough and gently insert a wooden popsicle between the two rounds. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the dough to seal in the filling and the stick.

Place the assembled handpies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 mins.

More Cookies And Pies with Pastry Chef Whitney King

Pastry Chef Whitney King on the pastry team at Stable Cafe at the Biltmore House in Asheville NC, shared the next recipe from the Cooking Stage, featuring a pie with a cookie crust! Best of both worlds, don’t you think?

Spencer the sweet potato with a pecan topped sweet potato tart

Her delicious pecan cookie dough, made with NC pecans made a great crust and it was as easy as, well, pie. Try it at home and use it to make cookies as well. In the demo, Chef Whitney made a long rectangular tart; and then showed the crowd of fairgoers how to make small individual round tarts with the same cookie crust and sweet potato filling.

before making cookies and pies,  this chef is holding a stuffed sweet potato toy
Pastry Chef Whitney King and Spencer the Sweetpotato on stage at the NC Mountain State Fair making cookies and pies

Center stage in Whitney’s pie, more NC sweetpotatoes. Spencer the Sweetpotato was on hand for photo ops and this demo, was another that certainly satisfied our sweet tooth.

Pecan Dough for Whitney’s Cookies and Pies
By Pastry Chef Whitney King, Asheville NC

Spencer the Sweetpotato stuffed animal poses with a pecan cookie pie crust
NC Sweetpotatoes, Spencer the Sweetpotato poses with one of Chef Whitney’s pecan cookie tart shells

This recipe makes enough for 40 (2-inch) tarts or 4 (8-inch) pie crusts ( or tons of delicious cookies)
1/4 cup Sugar
1 1/2 sticks Butter
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 Eggs (medium size)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. Cake flour
2 oz Pecans, toasted, very finely chopped, cooled

Mix butter with sugar on low until slightly lighter in color.

Mix egg and vanilla. Gradually add mixture to butter while scraping the bowl periodically.

Scrape bowl and add cake flour. Mix only until incorporated.

Fold in pecans.

Pat dough out into disc shape, wrap well, and refrigerate at least an hour before use. Dough
may also be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator before use.

Chef Whitney’s Sweet Potato Pie Filling

mixing sweet potato pie filling in a jar with an immersion blender
Quick and easy pro tip from pastry Chef Whitney King is to put all of the sweetpotato filling ingredients in a large canning jar and blend them together with an immersion blender

3/4 lb. of NC sweetpotatoes
5 Tbsp. Sugar
pinch of Salt
3 NC Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 Tbsp. whole Milk
1-2 tsp, Vanilla

To cook the NC sweetpotatoes: wash and scrub, peel, and cut into chunks. Cover the potatoes in water; boil until a fork can easily pierce the sweet potato. Drain and place the cooked sweetpotatoes into a large canning jar. Let cool to room temp.

Add sugar, salt, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla and mix with an immersion blender until the mix is pureed

Spoon into desired crusts and top with pecan topping (recipe below).

Here’s a Pro Tip: For super easy clean up, whisk all of your sweetpotato filling ingredients together in a large canning jar with an immersion blender. This also makes for easy do-ahead prep. You can keep the jar of filling in your refrigerator for as long as overnight, and then simply scoop it into your tart or pie crust when you are ready to bake.

Pastry Chef Whitney King

Pecan Topping

Just under 1 cup packed Brown sugar
1 oz All purpose flour
2 oz Butter, melted
4 oz Pecans, chopped fine.

Mix brown sugar, flour, butter, pecans

Spoon onto sweet potato filling in desired pattern

To Assemble Whitney’s Sweet Potato Tarts with her Pecan Cookie Crust

Roll out the pecan cookie dough and cut it into a circle that is slightly larger than your ring mold or round tart pan.

a round ring mold fitted with pecan cookie dough to make a crust
Use ring molds to make your individual sweet potato tarts

The spoon the sweet potato filling into the crust for each tart. Top the sweetpotato filling with the pecan topping as desired. Place the filled molds on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until crust and pecans are golden brown.

if you would like, top the baked pies or tarts with some Marshmallow Fluff ( aka Meringue) and then run back in the oven or under the broiler just until the meringue begins to brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Pastry Chef Whitney King’s Marshmallow fluff (To Top Your Cookies and Pies and Then Brulee)

meringue on the whisk attachment of a stand mixer

1/3 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Corn syrup or local NC honey
3 Large Egg whites (room temp)
½ tsp Cream of tartar
1 tsp Vanilla extract.

Add egg whites and cream of tartar to a clean mixing bowl (wipe the bowl with vinegar or lemon
juice if necessary).

Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in a pot and stir until combined. Let cook without stirring
until the mixture is at 230F. Turn on the mixer (medium-high) and begin whisking the egg whites
while the sugar mixture continues cooking.

Once the whites are stiff peaks and the sugar syrup is 250F, turn the mixer to low and slowly and
CAREFULLY pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream into the space between the mixing
bowl and the whisk.

Once all the syrup is in, turn the mixer to medium-high and let whip 6-7 minutes. Add in the
vanilla and continue to whip until the mixing bowl is room temp.

Add to prepared piping bag and use as desired. Can be toasted with torch or under a broiler.


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