Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oatmeal cookies


I'm having a craving for sugar today, which is fairly rare (usually my cravings involve salt, or possibly a strong cocktail). So I'll be posting quick and easy cookie recipes.

For years my cookies always came out a little burnt on the bottom, and I could never figure out why. Then I realized it was due to a) crappy baking sheets, and b) an oven that heated irregularly. You can't do much about b), but a) is easy to fix. If you consistently have problems with your cookies being overdone, try these steps:

1. Dial the oven back by 10-25 degrees from what the recipe tells you. (If it says 350, try somewhere between 325 and 350.)

2. Get better cookie sheets (stoneware is awesome). Or you can try putting parchment paper over your current cookie sheets; this usually prevents over-browning.

3. Keep a careful eye on the cookies, and take them out just before you think  they'll be done. They'll continue to cook a little once you take them out of the oven. I usually take them out about a minute before the required time (if the recipes says cook 8-10 minutes, I'll take them out at 7 minutes).

4. Take them off the cookie sheet immediately upon removing them from the oven. Let them cool on parchment paper or a cut-open brown paper grocery bag.

So, for yummy-good oatmeal cookies:

½ cups sugar
½ c packed brown sugar
¼ c butter
¼ c shortening
½ teaspoon each baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla
¼ teaspoon each baking powder, salt
1 egg
1 ½ c quick cooking oats
1 c flour

Mix all except flour and oats. Stir in flour and oats. Drop dough by spoonfuls on ungreased sheet, and cook at 375 for 10 minutes. Remove immediately from sheet.

This usually makes 10-12 big cookies, and since I have all the ingredients in bulk, I'm guessing the whole batch doesn't cost more than maybe 30 or 40 cents. It takes two minutes to mix, literally, another 10 to cook...a quick and easy dessert, or a quick and easy fix to late-night sugar cravings. And hey, there's oatmeal in there, right? Oatmeal is good for you. Therefore, these are healthy.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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