Monday, November 30, 2015

My favorite (definitely NOT healthy) cookies

In the age of the internet & Pinterest, I don't typically consult hard copy recipe books when I'm looking for something to make. There is, however, one exception.

In a ratty little old book, so old it isn't even really a book anymore, as the front and back covers are long gone, is my favorite cookie recipe. This recipe was my Papa's favorite, and I've grown up making these with my mom. Nearly every trip home includes baking a big batch of these cookies.

Let me preface the sharing of this recipe, by saying these are NOT healthy. These are not one of these recipes where you can make a million substitutions and get the same or similar product. People everywhere comment on recipes like,

"I substituted whole wheat for white flour & applesauce for oil and agave nectar for sugar and a banana for the other cup of sugar & it turned out dry & flavorless. Would not repeat"
Oh really, they didn't turn out?

 I'll admit, I've been that person to substitute some applesauce for oil, or some banana, or even cut back the sugar in a recipe. But, never will I ever blame the recipe creator when attempted substitutions do not work as planned.

So, this is me, telling you, the following recipe contains CRISCO, yes, like straight up shortening.

And it's contained for good reason. It yields a cookie with a crisp edge & soft chewy center, a texture that remains even after these cookies have cooled. Though, in all honesty, they are best straight from the oven.

Crisp Oatmeal Treasures : Yields approx 35 - 40 cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 scant cups oats (either old fashioned or quick cook)

1. Stir together flour, soda, salt & sugars.
2. Add shortening & stir/mash until batter is clumpy like shown below. The shortening & dry ingredients will form fine little balls. This is how it should be. I've always mixed by hand, either with a spatula or wooden spoon, but, if you want to be lazy, you could use a mixer.

3. Add egg and vanilla & mix until well incorporated.
4. Gradually stir in oats. I add oats 1 cup at a time until the batter cannot handle more. This usually ends up being between 2 1/2 & 3 cups of oats. Stirring these in is a workout. Walnuts or pecans work in these cookies if you're a fan of nuts in cookies...I am not. But if you were...this would be the time to stir in a 1/2 cup or so.

5. Scoop tablespoon sized balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Be careful, the dough will spread a lot while baking. I typically can fit 12 onto a large cookie sheet.
6. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. These should look puffy & slightly underdone when you pull them out of the oven. However, once removed, their centers will drop & they will become thin & flat like shown below. Remove from cookie sheet nearly immediately.

7. Eat & enjoy. These can store for 3-4 days in an air tight container. Though they've never lasted that long in my house. I managed to eat THREE before the rest of my family even noticed I had taken them out of the oven. Sorry, I'm not sorry.

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