Oatmeal is known for its cholesterol lowering properties. So can we go one step further and assume oatmeal cookies are good for you? Hmmmm? Well, I think you know the answer to that. I AM the queen of rationalization but even I can’t make that leap. That being said, a tasty dessert – in moderation – can be good for your mental well-being.
My philosophy is that if I’m going to indulge, the food better be worth it. That’s why I cook from scratch – I tailor food to suit my family’s taste AND I know what goes in it. No additives or cheap low-grade ingredients. Baking from scratch is really not difficult nor is it as time consuming as you might think. And, like anything, the more you do it, the faster it gets. So pour that glass of milk and set it in the refrigerator, ready to go for when these OATMEAL/CHIPS COOKIES come out of the oven!
OATMEAL/CHIPS COOKIES – makes 2 dozen
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups uncooked oatmeal
- ¾ cup flour (I used organic all-purpose)
- ½ tsp baking soda (make sure you use soda, NOT powder – they’re not the same)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup shortening
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ – 1 cup chips (I used half chocolate chips and half butterscotch chips)
Toast the walnuts until they just start to darken and you can smell them. Toasting nuts and seeds enhances their flavor and makes them crispier.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening, butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until everything is well blended. If you don’t have an electric mixer (yet another kitchen item you really should have!), you’ll have to mix the cookies by hand – not too difficult with this recipe. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the bowl. Before turning on the mixer again, use your spatula to mix the dry ingredients together. (You could mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, but I do it this way to save dirtying an extra bowl.) Then turn on the mixer and blend until the dry ingredients are ALMOST fully incorporated. Finally, add in the walnuts and chips, and blend either by hand or on a low speed of your mixer – just until the chips are evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
Preheat your oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Spoon the dough onto nonstick or greased cookie sheets. I prefer using a dark, nonstick cookie sheet – the cookies don’t spread as much so they’re thicker, and they bake quicker. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Set hot sheet on stove for 3 minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to completely cool. Letting the hot cookies set for 3 minutes allows them to set – they’re still molten when you take them from the oven, and trying to remove them from the cookie sheet immediately will lead to a real mess – and probably a lot of bad language.
NOTE: If you’re in the market for cookie sheets, don’t waste your money on those sheets that have 2 layers with air in between. I’ve never found them to be as good as the inexpensive dark, non-stick kind. Just my opinion.
Enjoy your cookies with a nice glass of ice cold milk, and hope that someday they’ll discover that oatmeal in cookies is still good for you. I’d be glad to help with the research!