Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies and Memory Loss (Recipe 1)

I am in search of the perfect oatmeal cookie.  Really, it's all a matter of taste, so what may be perfect for me may not be for you.  I actually made a batch of the BEST-TASTING oatmeal cookies I ever ate about a couple of years ago.  Here is where the cruel irony and sad truth comes in -- I forget where I found the recipe and  I discovered there is a slow memory leak the closer you get to 40 years old (I am now 40.)

If you will, picture an inflatable bed (the kind you pull out for company).  Imagine how nice and plump it is at nightfall.

Now picture yourself waking up in the morning with your back on the floor and the air mattress enveloping and smothering you on all sides a la "hot dog effect."


Back to my point, memory and inflatable beds are alike in that one day everything has the illusion of being normal.  The leak is undetectable.  Then one day you find yourself lying on a cold, hard floor wondering what happened.

Anyways, I digress- back to the oatmeal cookies.  I thought maybe, just maybe, I found the recipe on the back of the Sun-Maid raisins package.  Feeling lucky, I whipped up a batch and.... they were NOT the best oatmeal cookies I ever ate but they were still pretty toothsome.  Click below for the recipe.

The Ingredients
makes 3 dozen cookies

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened  *I used butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purposed flour *I used all-purpose unbleached flour and also added 1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup raisins

The Directions 
HEAT oven to 350 degrees.  BEAT butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.  COMBINE flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  ADD butter mixture and mix well.  STIR in oats and raisins.  DROP by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  BAKE 12 to 15 minutes.  (really watch your cookies, I had to remove mine in 10 minutes.)  Remove from cookie sheets, cool on wire racks. (I let my cookies sit on the sheet 1-2 minutes then removed them)

In Conclusion
These cookies had a good "mouth" feel.  There was a lot of different textures going on- crispy yet chewy, thin, delicate and caramelized.  The cookies were not doughy or dense, which I appreciate since I have eaten bad oatmeal hockey pocks before.  This cookie had the right amount of spice so you could actually taste the flavors of the oatmeal, raisins and caramelized sugar.

If I make this recipe again, there are some things I would change:  less sugar- maybe, 1/4 cup less sugar and newer, fresher baking soda (perhaps the cookies would rise more and spread less.)

The Judges Weigh In
My three-year old son did not need to be called once the first batch of cookies came out of the oven.  He made himself a seat in front of the cookies cooling on the kitchen table.  He bit into a cooled cookie and exclaimed, "Yummy!  Thank you, mommy!"  He sounded like a thirsty man in the desert who had just been given a glass of water.  At first, I felt instant guilt because I realized he had not eaten home-made cookies for over a month.  But then, I felt warmth and pride that I could bring a little joy over something so simple.

My 7-year old son just returned from an outing with his Dad and eyed the cookies suspiciously.  These were not his favorite chocolate chip cookies.  "Do they have chocolate chips?" he asked, hoping.  I replied no.  I pretended not to notice or care, but secretly wished for him to eat these somewhat healthy cookies.  Of course, I would never tell him about all the fiber goodness and omega-3 benefits due to the flax seed meal, raisins and oatmeal.  I have to trick my 7-year old into eating things that are good for him.  I did a victory dance inside when he commenced to eat one cookie, then another and another....

My husband was expecting sweet potato pie first, not cookies.  I told him I was baking the sweet potato pie after the cookies.  He looked dejected and also looked at the cookies suspiciously.  Like father like son.  My husband is a die-hard SOFT cookie lover so I know he was probably debating whether to try the crispy-looking oatmeal cookie.  Guess what?  He went on to eat about four to five.  Oh yeah!

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