Friday, July 10, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes life just requires a double batch of oatmeal cookies.

Like when you're headed to a lakeside extended-family getaway and you need a portable, convenient dessert that will serve 16 at more than one meal. And that you can make a few days in advance and keep in the freezer until it's time to jump in the car and go. And that everyone can snack on throughout the week.

Plus, I just really love these cookies.

They're my favorite oatmeal cookies, and that's probably because the original recipe was created to replicate the cookie part of an oatmeal creme pie--my favorite childhood snack cake.

In fact, I first made the cookies because they were part of a recipe for homemade oatmeal creme pies. I got incredibly, irrationally excited about it, because I haven't had an oatmeal creme pie in years and to be honest I'm not so sure how much I'd actually enjoy them anymore. So rather than risking the travesty of tainting my childhood memory, I thought maybe I could just bake a homemade batch. They'd be free of all the highly processed, preservative-laden bad stuff that I've become very conscious of avoiding, partly for flavor but mostly for reasons of health and nutrition.

(When someone in your immediate family spends six months in and out of the hospital for heart problems, you start to pay closer attention to what's actually
in what you're eating. At least, that's how it worked for me.)

But when I looked at the ingredients for the filling and realized that the two main substances involved were shortening and marshmallow creme, it didn't sound like much of an improvement.

So I tinkered with the cookie part of the recipe a little bit, made them sans creme filling to take to a BBQ, and came home afterw
ard with several compliments, no leftovers, and an Official Favorite Oatmeal Cookie Recipe on my hands.

Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from honey & jam

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups quick oats

In a large bowl, cream together the oil, butter, and sugars. Add eggs one at a time until well combined. Add the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add to the creamed ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes. (If, like me, you were also recently placed in charge of the beer run that will supply a segment of your family for a week of lakeside lounging, this will require some refrigerator Tetris. Have fun with that.)

Once the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Form each cookie by dropping about a tablespoon of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to brown around the edges. They might still look a little soft in the center, but don't overbake them. The centers will set as the cookies cool. (On a wire rack, if you have the sort of kitchen that allows for spreading out cookies on wire racks. Otherwise, they'll turn out just fine if you stack them on a couple of plates.) You should wind up with a chewy, buttery oatmeal cookie. The cocoa powder gives these cookies a deeper flavor than most other oatmeal cookies I've tried, so don't be surprised if people start asking questions about your secret ingredient.

Yield: About 30-35 cookies
(Recipe doubles easily, just in case you happen to have the need for 70 oatmeal cookies.)

1 comment:

  1. Who *doesn't* have a need for 70 oatmeal cookies? That is what I want to know.