Amish Oatmeal Cookies

amish-oatmeal-cookieOatmeal cookies are among my favorite, and these cookies offer a delightful twist on the classic treat. This recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion and includes some surprising touches; there’s nutmeg in the dough along with cinnamon, and a brown sugar cinnamon mixture for coating. The original recipe includes raisins, but I decided to leave them out. If you’d like to add them, go for 1/2 cup and add them after you stir in the oats.

I didn’t expect these cookies to spread out when baking as much as they did, so I advise you to leave plenty of room on your baking sheets, at least a few inches between each cookie. Also, let them cool on the baking sheets for just a minute or two once they’re done baking; any more time, and they might end up overdone.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats

For the coating

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, baking powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add eggs and milk, beating until combined.

Mix in flour on low speed until just incorporated, then stir in oats.

Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine light brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing with a fork to combine.

Scoop dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop and roll into balls, then dip in brown sugar mixture to coat.

Place on cookie sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. If desired, use the tines of a fork to flatten slightly – I omitted this step in my preparation.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until centers are still puffy but edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip Cookies

oatmeal butterscotch cookiesThe oatmeal butterscotch chip cookie, also known as an oatmeal scotchie, is a classic cookie that, until today, I had never made.

You’re shocked, I know. How can someone who claims baking prowess never have made a scotchie? Aren’t they the kind of classic that any baker worth her salt should know how to make? The answer is: yes. The are the kind of classic any baker worth her salt should know how to make. And now, I suppose, I’m worth my salt.

The recipe below is slightly adapted from the original one on the package of Nestle butterscotch chips, with a bit more brown sugar and extra vanilla (just like my chocolate chip cookies). Be very careful not to overbake these; you need to pull them from the oven after about 9-10 minutes, even if they still look raw in the middle. Don’t be afraid. They’ll keep baking on the cookie sheet as they cool, and they’ll end up chewy in the middle, which is what you want. Trust me…I’m worth my salt.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a few extra sprinkles of cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, generously packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 2/3 cup butterscotch chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line several baking sheets with foil or parchment.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add white sugar and brown sugar, then cream for about 1 minute before adding eggs and vanilla.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.

Stir in oats 1 cup at a time, then stir in butterscotch chips.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are light brown and centers are still pale and puffy; remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets for about 4-5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

pb oatmealPeanut butter, chocolate chips, and oatmeal are all delicious on their own, but when combined in cookie form in this recipe they bring out the best in each other. These treats are among my favorites that I’ve made lately; they’re not too sweet, with interesting texture and a great combination of flavors.

If you’re not really a chocolate person (not that I could ever understand such a thing) you can omit the chocolate chips and just go with plain peanut butter oatmeal. You could also use peanut butter chips, or you could use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth for some added texture. Either way, I’d recommend keeping these cookies small, because the oatmeal makes them pretty hearty.

This batch of cookies went to Southern Maryland with Mike this week; he’s visiting his parents, and our awesome cousins Barb and Robb and the incomparable Maureen, my goddaughter. I’m hoping that I’ll get a photo of Maureen eating one, but so far I’ve only seen a video of her with chocolate pudding all over her face. We’ll keep that one around for her wedding, of course.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line three baking sheets with foil or parchment.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and peanut butter and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda and mix until well-combined, scraping the sides of the bowl often.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla and beat until combined.

Beat in flour, about one half-cup at a time, until well-combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets; you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are just golden brown; cookie centers will still look slightly puffy. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes, then place on wire racks to cool completely.

Note: this recipe yields 60 cookies. Because I only have three large-sized baking sheets, I let each of them cool between batches before I scoop on another round of dough.

 

Oatmeal Craisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal craisin dark chocAs far as chocolate goes, people tend to have strong opinions; many are milk chocolate loyalists, while others embrace the antioxidant properties of dark. I will eat any kind of chocolate except white, which I maintain is not really chocolate, given that its cocoa solids are removed during production. And, white chocolate just tastes strange to me. But anyway…

While I tend to prefer milk chocolate chips in classic chocolate chip cookies, there are many recipes in which semisweet, dark, or bittersweet chips are more appropriate in order to balance their accompanying flavors. To complement the tart dried cranberries in this recipe, I sought bittersweet chips, which are 60 percent cacao. Fortunately my local grocery store had Ghirardelli bittersweet chips, but both Hershey and Nestle make dark chocolate chips containing 53 percent cacao that could have worked just as well. A fun aspect of dark and bittersweet chocolate chips is that they’re larger than both milk and semisweet chips, which adds to their visual appeal.

Side note: as I’m not a dried fruit fan, Mike tasted these cookies and proclaimed them excellent, proving my theory about bittersweet chocolate chips balancing tart dried cranberries to be correct.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine white flour, wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture until well combined.

Stir in oats; at this point, you may need to reach in and use your hands to thoroughly incorporate them.

Stir in dried cranberries and chocolate chips; again, you will likely need to use your hands.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, generously scoop out dough and roll into balls, then flatten slightly. Place at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake 11-12 minutes, until edges are golden but centers appear slightly under-baked. You do not want these cookies to appear totally baked when you pull them from the oven, as they will continue to bake for several minutes on the hot baking sheet once they’re out.

Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

Mike and I have been married for 12 years, and together for nearly 16.  We met at a frat party on the first night back for the fall semester at Frostburg State University in 1996 and have been together ever since, joking that we got married by default because it simply didn’t occur to us to look for anyone else.

Our tastes in food are drastically different, precipitating a number of challenges in the kitchen.  Mike will eat almost anything and seems to have a particular fondness for foods that make me gag, like sauerkraut, for example.  He also loves vegetables (even Brussels sprouts), puts condiments on everything, and enjoys chunky tomato sauce, chunky applesauce, and yogurt with fruit in it.  I would be perfectly happy eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of my life, I peel apples and peaches because I don’t like the skin, I believe the only accoutrements a sandwich or burger needs are cheese and well-done bacon, and I prefer my sauces and yogurts chunk-free.  Perhaps the greatest divide in our relationship is his fondness for raisins, as I cannot understand why shriveled grapes are appetizing.

Mike has three favorite cookies: chocolate chip, pecan rugelach, and these iced oatmeal applesauce cookies.  He’s had a busy week so far and will have an even busier weekend, so there are for him.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chunky applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup raisins

For the icing

  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line several sheets with parchment paper or foil.

In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars; beat on low speed until well-blended.

Add egg and applesauce; beat until very well-blended, about two minutes.

Add oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; beat on low speed until combined.

Add raisins and stir by hand to incorporate.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop cookies onto baking sheets about two inches apart; you should have six cookies per sheet.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and one tablespoon water.  Add additional tablespoons water, one at a time, until you reach a smooth, drizzly consistency.

Channel your inner Jackson Pollock and drizzle icing over cookies.  Allow icing to set before storing.

Oatmeal Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

In the history of the world, there have been many important questions.  Should we declare our independence?  Should we invade Normandy?  Should we put raisins in the oatmeal cookies?

To this critical question, I answer emphatically, no.  Most definitely not.  Why ruin a perfectly good cookie with shriveled fruit?  If you must put something in your oatmeal cookie, put chocolate chips, for goodness sake.  Even butterscotch chips.  But not raisins, please.  Many times, I’ve come upon what I thought was a chocolate chip cookie that turned out to be oatmeal raisin.  This is one of life’s great disappointments.

My friend Alex requested that I make oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies once, and I complied.  And someday, if I own my own bakery, they’ll be on the menu as “the Alex.”  You can be sure, though, that I’ll never eat one.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and beat until combined.

Stir in oats, one cup at a time.

Drop by rounded tablespoons (or using a 2-inch cookie scoop) about two inches apart.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheets, then cool completely on wire racks.