Sunday, March 25, 2007

Starting with Cookies

March 25

Just for the hell of it, I decided to start another blog. I write on life and its many ramifications on a little ole blog called Finding Fair Hope but I never say anything at all about food over there. On this blog I will write about food, eating and cooking it, and how it fits into life and its many ramifications. That sounds about profound enough. I think I'm up to it.

I'll jump around and comment on restaurants I visit, shows I see on food shows on cable, recipes and magazines I love, and what I had for breakfast. See if you find it interesting.

My sister has to prepare some cookies for her book club Tuesday. She's an excellent cook but she hates cookies so I have no idea why she volunteered. If I were in her shoes, I would love the job. I love cookies, and making them gives me a great excuse to snatch a bite of dough, lick bowls and spoons, and "test" the cookies by trying five or six hot out of the oven.

I would make Loaded Oatmeals. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart, who got it from her friend Torie Hallock, but I changed it by cutting the butter in half, doubling the eggs, substituting 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, for the same amount of white flour, decreasing the amount of white sugar, cherries, toffee bits and chocolate, and adding raisins and salt. I also bake them longer -- the original recipe said 8 to 10 minutes -- because I like cookies crisp.

1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 stick butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together: flours, baking soda, salt, and set aside. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, mix on high speed. Add vanilla. Scrape the beater and sides of the bowl. Slowly add the sifted flour, on low speed. Remove the bowl and mix in the oatmeal manually, followed by the fruit and candy bits and your choice of nuts, if desired.

This dough can be formed into rolls, chilled and sliced, or dropped as is by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at least 20 minutes until crispy.
Cool on a baking rack.

I never got anything but raves for this recipe. It almost makes me want to join the book club!

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