Sometimes, on my way home, I'll pick up a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie for my before-going-to-bed snack.
I wondered what was in them, so I checked the wrapper and counted almost 80 ingredients. These included sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60, propylene glycol monostearate, sodium stearoyl lactylate as well as whole grain oats.
Recently, I heard about Muddy's Bake Shop's homemade oatmeal cream pies. I had to try them.
Little Debbie pies have to have a long shelf life, so, of course, they've got preservatives, but the oatmeal cream pies at Muddy's have only eight ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar, oats, vanilla, baking soda, flour and a little salt.
They sell for $1.50 each as opposed to 50 cents for Little Debbie's version, but they're worth it; they're delicious. I took some back to the office. I haven't heard such moans of delight from co-workers for a food item in a long time.
Thomas Robinson, the significant other of Muddy's owner Kat Gordon, came up with the idea to sell oatmeal cream pies at the bakery. Gordon said Robinson told her, "You make delicious oatmeal cookies. You should make oatmeal pies."
That was a while ago. "He's been asking for them for the last four years," Gordon said.
A few weeks ago, Gordon had some downtime on a Saturday night. She remembered the oatmeal pies and thought, "Oh, my gosh. Thomas Robinson, you are just my angel."
She whipped up a batch. "They never got in the case," she said. People saw her making them and wanted them right away.
Gordon didn't want a soft oatmeal cream pie like the Little Debbie version. She wanted "a little more contrast."
"I'm a grown-up. I like to have a little bit of chew."
She edited her oatmeal cookie recipe and her vanilla icing recipe. She used more butter and less sugar. The pies were "a little sturdier, a little crunchier."
So, what does Robinson think about them? "He loves them."
He gets one a day, she said. "That's his payment for the idea."
Muddy's Bake Shop is at 5101 Sanderlin, No. 114; 901-683-8844.
Michael Donahue: 901 529-2797; Donahue@commercialappeal.com