Now, I wish I could say that “It’s been hectic,” “I haven’t had time to cook,” etc. After all, I just got married 2 months go, exactly as of today. Getting married, becoming a step mom of three, starting a new job, getting a new dog and having endless hours with nothing to do is hectic. Except, not. If anything for the first time in 2 years I really have access to a kitchen! With counters! Crazy huh? And because of my long days at home (I only work a couple hours a day), I’ve cooked a ton. Homemade donuts, banana chocolate chip muffins, banana chocolate marble quick bread, mini apple muffins, mini French breakfast puffs, Popsicles, pancakes, french toast, “bisquick” pies, homemade pizza, pizza bagels, chili with cornbread in a crockpot. . . you get the idea. My goal is to start posting at least once a week–I’m cooking more than that, I just have to remember the camera! This post, is simply a long awaited oatmeal cookie recipe.
Nothing says love like an old fashioned oatmeal cookie. When I was a child I liked the idea of oatmeal cookies, but the kind my mom made weren’t ever really the kind I wanted. I wasn’t sure what I wanted really.
In one of my positions as an outdoor educator, we had hour long activities with the students: up to 26 per activity. Why do I mention this? Because every Thursday we made cookies. Cookies that had to be edible enough for everyone to eat the next day. The recipes we originally had were not-so- distantly
related to hard tack- just with sugar and ocassionally chocolate chips. Month 3 of hard tack plus was enough for me- I went on a cookie hunt. My requirements? Still soft the next day, delicious, simple, and can survive being manhandled by 2-6th graders.
What did I do? Go to mommy. I got her original oatmeal cookie recipe and started to edit it. I’ll include her original Findlay College Oatmeal Cookie recipe at the end of the post.
The way I generally make cookies is the two bowl method: mix dry ingredients in one bowl, cream fat and sugar and liquid in the other and combine. That being said I didn’t do that this time. I started by creaming together softened *cough*practicallymeltedbcuzI’mlazy*cough* butter and brown sugar. Then I added the eggs and vanilla. Usually I’d then add my premixed dry ingredients (flour, oats, leavening, spices), but this time I just dumped them in.
Then of course you mix just until ingredients are moistened.
Now is the step you add chocolate chips, or raisin, or nuts. I have a few things to say on the additions. The recipes calls for use of cinnamon and nutmeg as spices. This is because usually you’d make them with no chunky additions or with raisins. Raisin are all warm and fuzzy, but I find them to be too hard or too chewy or just too big of a texture contrast. So I don’t use them. On the rare occasion I actually use them I soak them before hand. This way they become softer and plump.
All that being said. I like the burst of sweet you get from the raisins. Using chocolate or vanilla chips (while maintaining nutmeg and cinnamon) make the cookie taste like it has raisins. . . just without the raisins and texture downsides. And to be honest, who can turn down chocolate in cookies?
This time I used chocolate chips, I was making them for a friend as a birthday gift and giving just oatmeal cookies sans chocolate says “you needs to be healthy” or “I have no cookie yumminess sensor.” Now, please don’t think I don’t like plain spiced oatmeal cookies. They are truly the bee’s knees. However, not everyone has the same appreciation for their more subtle flavor notes.
The dough is done, please restrain yourself from eating it prior to cooking. In theory this can make 40 2-3 inch cookies, but. . . if you dip in the dough, you know how cause and effect works. The dough will be slightly sticky, but able to be handled. Grab a pinch and quickly roll the dough into 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch balls. If you’re working with kids, don’t let them handle it too much. I’ve known many a 2-6th grader get distracted wand continue rolling until their hands are covered in sticky cookie goo. The whole pinch roll drop process take 2-3 seconds tops.
These wont spread out too much, so don’t be afraid to conserve space and scrunch them closer. I used wax paper (sometimes parchment paper) just to make it easy to clean and remove cookies later. This way you don’t have to worry about putting new cookies on already baked chocolate remains that stuck to the cookie sheet when the chocolate chips melte0d. Burnt chocolate is not so yummy.
Bake it as per usual. To get chewy cookies, take them out midway, drop the pan on the counter and continue baking. It causes the cookies to collapse (as it release whatever gases it built up). Then when the edges of the cookie look golden, bring it out. If you have a stone you’re baking on, remember that the cookie continue cooking after you take it out of the oven.
Traditionally, in my house we cool cookies not on a rack, but on newspaper. When both are missing paper towels is the way to go! If those cookie don’t look goo enough,just taste them. After all, don’t they say the proof of the cookie is in the tasting? Or was that pudding?
Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips
40 2-3 inch cookies
- Bowl 1:
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Bowl 2:
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 1 cup of chocolate chips (or raisins, or other kind of chips (white, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel, etc)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together ingredients in Bowl 1.
- Mix the ingredients in Bowl 2.
- Add Bowl 2 to Bowl 1. Mix just until all ingredients are moistened.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Roll into 1 1/2 inch ball and place on greased or lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Half way through, pull out and drop pan on counter, replace in oven. Pull out of the oven when still looking slightly under-baked to maintain a soft chewy texture: should be lightly golden on the edges.
Original Findlay College Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
(as given to me by my mother)
1 cup flour
3/4 cup shortening
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups oatmeal
Mix all ingredients well. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.