Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!

by Lucy Arlington
 
Who doesn’t love cookies? I have to admit that I am somewhat of a cookie monster myself. Oatmeal, chocolate chip, shortbread, sugar cookies, chocolate brownie cookies, biscotti...I could go on and on. And not only do I love eating cookies, I love baking cookies. If you were to ask my hubby or kids what I’m best at, they would say baking cookies.
So I thought it was time for me to share the recipe for one of my house specials. Whenever I make them, they last all of five minutes, and that’s not just at our house. Everyone who eats them raves about them, and they are the most requested baked goods in my repertoire.

This is a standard oatmeal cookie recipe, but my secret is that I use butter, not margarine or shortening; and I use large flake oats, not the quick cooking kind; and I use dark brown sugar instead of light. Okay, that’s three secrets. But paying attention to those details will make the difference between baking an ordinary oatmeal cookie and baking one that you can’t stop eating.
One other thing: The original recipe suggests adding raisins or chocolate chips. I say be creative! I often add dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots. In the last batch I made, I added a combination of dried cherries and chocolate chips, and a half-teaspoon of almond extract. Those cookies were to die for!
Do you have a favourite cookie?
By the way, I would like to send a big thank you to our readers, for helping Buried in a Book  get on the New York Times list!
OATMEAL COOKIES

Preheat oven to 350º
Cream together:
1/2 cup butter (not margarine or shortening)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (I usually use dark brown sugar and don't really pack it)
Add and combine:
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Sift together and add to above ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
When beaten smooth, add:
1 cup uncooked large flake oats
(1/2 cup raisins OR 1/2 cup dried cranberries OR 3/4 cup chocolate chips OR anything else you fancy)
Beat well, and drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. (If you want them chewy, about 10 min., if crunchy, 12 min. or more, depending on your oven.)