Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Perfect Meal Cookie : The Oatmeal Standard

I learned too late to do anything about it, that yesterday was National Oatmeal Cookie Day.

Only lightly speckled with dried cranberries… but plenty of pecan chunks.

Imagine the heartbreak in our house, to have missed the opportunity this year to honor such a great food! After all, it is the perfect meal, if you want it to be…egg & nut protein, fiber from the oats and the fruit, and, of course, outrageously edible…if one wanted to, one could even give it real muscle by adding bacon crumbles. Or, you can leave it alone as a tasty dessert treat. Which my family prefers. Even when we miss the holiday. As we did yesterday.

Well, rather than allow this tragedy to go  unaddressed, today I decided to simply pretend it was still yesterday. I asked The Bat for her old stand-by recipe (a battered photocopy of an Ann Pillsbury recipe published at least as long ago as the first year my folks were married, more than a half century ago), and got to work.

Along with the plan of baking a heap of treats, I also gave a test to my most recent gluten-free flour purchase. I'd already tried Bob's Red Mill 1:1 GF, and it was good, but I like to be thorough. And I'm rather glad I was.

I like the texture and taste even of the dough made using the Pamela's flour, and the cookies…most assuredly a repeatable experiment. The one issue I had was that they didn't turn out chewy, the way regular wheat-based flour does. The under-baked cookies still ended up very crumbly, not at all gooey. But then, it's a small sacrifice, considering these were awesomely tasty. I suppose I might consider adding chocolate chips, or even white chocolate chunks, but I don't think it's all that necessary.

These are truly tender and tasty all by themselves.

I could have sworn I had two full dozen, not twenty minutes ago…

Oatmeal Cookies


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks (optional)


Set oven racks near middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375ยบ F. Lightly grease at least 2 baking sheets.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In larger mixing bowl, cream butter and then add sugars gradually, mixing to cream well.

Add eggs and vanilla, beat in well.

Completely mix in sifted dry ingredients, then add oatmeal, pecans, and, finally, dried cranberries (and, if you are adding them, now is the time for the chocolate chips. I passed, this time).

Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (I use a 2-Tablespoon dough scoop), leaving about two inches between dough balls.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven. If using gluten-free flour, allow to stand on baking sheet at least one minute to set up.  If using regular all-purpose flour, remove from baking sheet with thin spatula, finish cooling individually on rack. Be careful - they are tender and break apart easily!

See the one to the left of center? It cracked, and had to be eaten immediately…a pity, really.
Makes about 5 dozen small (2-bite) cookies, or about 3 dozen larger cookies.