03 January, 2012

Welcome and Oatmeal Cookies

I just want to take a moment this morning to welcome you to my new blog.  And start with a recipe that I used this Christmas.

So welcome!  I hope that this blog helps you find your happy place in the kitchen.  I am not a professional by any means, but I do love food.  I love making food, eating food, serving food, eating food…  OK, so I really love eating what I make.  There are many things about cooking that seem daunting, but the truth is, cooking isn’t hard if you take time and actually follow the directions on the HOW, not the WHAT.  

A lot of the time I find myself taking a recipe that I find and reengineering it to be healthier, easier, tastier or quicker (almost never all at the same time).  I have gotten better with practice and being married means that I always have a guinea pig to test these trials and errors out on.   

There are always parts of a recipe that are important to follow these are the ratios of acids to bases (for baking), the technique that gives a recipe structure, and the key ingredient that makes something taste like it should.  You don’t have spaghetti without basil; you don’t have gumbo without okra (though some will argue with me here); and like today, you don’t have oatmeal cookies without oatmeal. 

This recipe in its original state can be found on the Hershey’s website.  I made very minor changes, but it did help with the over all texture and flavor of the cookies.

Cinnimon Oatmeal Drop Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cupgranulated sugar

2 eggs

1-1/2 teaspoonsvanilla extract

1 cup of oat flour (can be found with the flour, but you may have to venture into the “hippie” section of the grocery store)

½ cup of all purpose flour

1 teaspoonbaking soda

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnimon

2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips (my mom sent these to me, but I have heard you can get them during the holidays at the grocery store)

½ cup golden rasins

½ cup regular rasins


1 Heat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

3 Combine flours, cinnimon and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins (batter will be stiff).

4 Drop by heaping teaspoons unto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes on until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

About 4 dozen.
I did take the dough I wasn’t going to bake when I made it and sealed it in the refrigerator.  This way I have my own scoop and bake oatmeal cookies when I want.  Part of it can go in the freezer, just make sure you scoop and freeze in the portion that you want your cookies to be in. 

Another thing you can do to boost flavor is soak the raisins over night in some dark rum.  This will rehydrate them and add hidden flavor to your cookies.

I will be honest, cookies gave me a hard time for a very long time.  The two biggest cookie sins I commited were:

I didn’t pre heat the oven so my cookies would heat and spread into one giant blob of dough on the pan before they started baking.

I didn’t cream the sugar and butter until creamy.  This makes the cookies lighter in texture and helps the next set of ingredients to mix in properly.   If you don’t cream you will end up with oatmeal bricks that have powdery bits in them.

Well, once again, welcome to my new blog.  I hope that my little hints on this old standard help you and please, don’t forget to have fun.  Crank up some music, dance around the kitchen like a fool and enjoy.