Thursday, September 18, 2008
Crammed Oatmeal Cookies
Once upon a time, a librarian became "The Bumbling Baker" and created a blog about her baking escapades and experiments. While conducting research for the project, she found a recipe for Everyone's Favorite Cookies, and much to her amazement and delight, she discovered that she too, was a convert.
Then she tweaked and fiddled with the recipe, and stumbled upon what will now and forever be known as 'Crammed Oatmeal Cookies'. Nothing (including the size of her waistline) would ever be the same again...
Sometimes the best stuff comes about by accident, and these cookies were no exception. While camping a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find macadamia nuts at a bulk food store near our campsite, and I bought a few cupfuls. Unsalted macadamia nuts are very difficult to find in Toronto, and they are super-expensive, so when I find them, I buy them.
I thought that the nuts would pair nicely with dried cranberries, so I bought some of those too. All I had to do was figure out what to put them in. And that's when it hit me - cookies!
I decided to adapt the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip recipe, replace the semisweet chocolate chips with white chocolate chips, and add the cranberries and chopped nuts. And in case you were wondering - No, I didn't cook these over the open fire! I waited until I got home. I'm the BUMBLING baker... not the Backwoods Baker. Yet. Anyways...........
The result was a cookie crammed with texture and flavour. The oats and cranberries give the cookie it's chewiness, while the nuts add a subtle flavour and big crunch. The white chocolate is rich and decadent, making this cookie more la-di-da than lunchbox. But don't take my word for it.... Go make some! Well, after you finish reading the story...
... After the last batch of cookies came out of the oven, The Bumbling Baker bit into one of the warm cookies and chewed in delight. Dusting her hands off, she opened a plastic container to store the cookies, and began to place them inside. But as she was moving the cookies, one of them broke, so she ate the damaged pieces. And then one of them was uneven, so she ate that too. And then she just ate one to even out the numbers.
One by one, the "imperfect" specimens were weeded out, until a few remained that were worthy of consumption. She placed these perfect cookies on a plate, poured a glass of milk, and then spent the remainder of the evening watching reruns of the Cosby Show wearing her rattiest flannel pyjamas. And The Bumbling Baker lived happily ever after...
Well, until she got on the scale the next morning.
Baked cookies taunting me:
Crammed Oatmeal Cookies
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat, or spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, beat margarine/butter and brown sugar until well combined - it should have the consistency of wet sand.
3. Add egg whites and vanilla and beat mixture until smooth.
4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
5. Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and stir by hand until almost combined.
6. Add the white chocolate chips, cranberries and macadamia nuts, and stir until just blended.
7. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheets about 2" apart.
8. Flatten each cookie a little with the back of a spoon.
9. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until pale golden around the edges but soft in the middle. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!
10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.