Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Oatmeal jumble cookies

I decided I needed to bake some of my own after getting an emergency oatmeal cookie at the grocery store last week. I based them on Mark Bittman's basic oatmeal cookie recipe, which allows for about 1 ½ cup or so of tasty extras, like nuts, chocolate, raisins...I wanted these to be jumble cookies, with a little bit of everything good in them. I started by creaming together 1 stick of butter (softened and cut into tablespoon sized chunks) with ½ cup white sugar plus ½ cup brown sugar. Of the brown sugar, I actually used something more like ¼ regular brown sugar combined with ¼ cup of large crystal turbinado, but it doesn't matter too much as long as you get to 1 cup of sugar total and some of it is brown for that nice molasses-y flavor. After the butter and sugars were creamed together, I mixed in 2 eggs, adding them one at a time. In another bowl I combined 1 ½ cup flour with 2 cups rolled oats, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamom, a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder. Then slowly added the dry oat-flour mixture into the sugar/butter/egg combination. I added about ½ cup milk so it would mix more easily.Also added ½ teaspoon almond extract--I got this bottle as a gift in my Christmas stocking last year!At the same time I got my extras ready, like this wonderful dark bittersweet chocolate. I had something like about 1 ¾ cup total of various add-ins: slivered almonds, chopped pecans, golden raisins, dried cranberries and that delicious chocolate.They all got stirred into the combined batter. Full disclosure: I did not personally stir in all these chunky delights as that would be far too much like work. Instead, I found a pair of willing forearms and enlisted their help.The forearms also volunteered to drop teaspoons of cookie dough on the sheets because apparently cookies are at their most delicious when unbaked and still attached to the spoon. Pop them into an oven that has been preheating at 375 degrees for about 12 - 15 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

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