As Promised

Well, Jeremy has already made short work of the amaretti and I took care of the buckwheat cookies, which, I have discovered, pair perfectly with a glass of spiced apple cider. So, as promised, I baked up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies night before last.

Yum Yums

When we first moved to Colorado, I was 4 years old and we lived in a rented ranch-style house with a huge weeping willow in the front yard. It was on a U-shaped street, within sight of the elementary school where I went to kindergarten, and lots of neighborhood kids around to play with. I remember rousing games of Candyland, which was what we called a made-up Capture-the-Flag-ish game where all the girls personified yummy candies (I was Baby Ruth) and all the boys were evil vegetables. Good times.

Anyway, the couple who lived across the street from us loved children, but were having troubles conceiving one of their own. We visited with them a lot to eat cookies and play on the swingset in their backyard, which had been erected by the previous owners. I believe they did eventually have a baby (who is now likely a college graduate—how time flies!), and we moved to a different neighborhood a few miles away, on a culdesac with no more weeping willow tree. (The next owners of that house incidentally cut down the tree because it had a huge root system that wreaked havoc with plumbing.) But I think about it every time I make these cookies from our neighbor lady’s recipe… which is every few months, because these really are the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ever. 🙂

Yum Yums

Yum Yums

1 C shortening
3/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
1 1/2 C AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 C oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 C walnuts
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and water, then remaining ingredients. Scoop by tablespoons onto a baking stone and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Makes about 3 dozen. cookies.

I always use the back of the spatula to flatten them down slightly when they come out of the oven; somehow it helps them stay chewier, and David Lebovitz agrees. Oh, and eat them with milk, but that’s a given.

Update 2/20/12: Since this recipe is already casein-free (assuming you use dairy-free chocolate chips!), it was the first that I chose to adapt for Nolan’s new GFCF diet. I also now use soaked and dehydrated oatmeal and walnuts. Replace the all-purpose flour in the above recipe with the following blend:

1/2 C sorghum flour, 1/2 C oat flour, 1/2 C tapioca flour, 1/4 C coconut flour, 1/4 tsp gelatin (make sure the oat flour and oatmeal are gluten free if you are highly sensitive)

There was some trial and error involved in choosing this blend. I didn’t include the coconut flour in the first two trays of cookies, and they baked up like the one on the left above, very flat, crispy and brown—they essentially melted in the oven like florentines and all the chunky bits stayed right in the center. Refrigerating didn’t seem to make much difference between trays, although I didn’t give it much more than a half-hour test. I beat coconut flour into the last part of the dough and ended up with the cookie on the right: nearly identical to the original recipe in appearance, texture and flavor, with no refrigeration. All batches baked for 12 minutes, so it is remarkable what a little coconut flour can do!  🙂

Update 3/7/14: I should also note that this recipe works equally well with sucanat in place of the brown sugar; I added a splash of maple syrup for moisture. I also typically use coconut oil instead of shortening for all my baking these days.

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