I don't do a lot of baking on this blog. I don't do a lot of baking, period. But there's just something about sitting around coming up with semi-abstract ideas on how to sell gum all day that can make a gal crave the comfort of a warm batch of cookies - not to mention the obsessive-compulsive satisfaction of measuring precise units of flour, butter, and sugar.
Since my new uber-healthy cookbook has put all sorts of crazy ideas into my head about what I should and should not have in my pantry (and let me tell you, I'm about 85% in the SHOULD NOT camp right now), I figured I should rid myself of all that pesky (delicious) white and brown refined sugar to make room for cane sugar, agave nectar, and a slew of other things I've avoided until now.
What better way to rid yourself of processed flour and sugar than to bake them into chewy cookies and devour them as if it weren't just any old weeknight?
I did try to pump up the health factor on these babies by using all whole wheat flour, and I also added some Craisins that had been sitting around crying themselves to sleep in my cabinet for awhile (the box of white raisins is still sniffling). I also halved the recipe (no need to have 24 cookies parading their sumptuous curves in front of my face all weekend), and I fully intend to bring a bag into work tomorrow and pawn them off on my unsuspecting co-workers.
I simply found this recipe by googling "oatmeal cookies," and my only rule was that they contain all butter - none of that weird goopy shortening stuff (what IS that stuff?). This was one of the first recipes that popped up, from allrecipes.com. It has about 750 5-star reviews, so I figured it was a safe bet. Here it is as it was posted (I used half of all these measurements):
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3 cups quick cooking oats
1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour. ***NOTE: I skipped the chilling part, and they turned out fine.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
This was super quick and easy to make, even for the baking-impaired. This recipe is like the rock-solid foundation of your dream house - you get to pick out the refrigerator model, the wainscoting, and the ceiling fans. You could add chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, M & M's, orange zest - you name it.
If I hadn't known they were made with whole wheat flour, I never would've guessed. They were chewy and delicious, and only about a 5 out of 10 on the guilt scale.
And the best part is, my friend from work and also my across-the-street neighbor, Tina, came by on the spur of the moment to share them with me (not to mention the last of my pinot noir rose). What's better than warm cookies and unplanned gossip?
Thanks for reading! More soon...