I've been pondering what recipe I should discuss next on my blog. I hit upon it while the missus was baking the other day. Is there anything better than a warm, homemade cookie, fresh out of the oven, washed down with a glass of milk? I think not! Truly I am a foodie.
A few years back, when we operated our roadside market stand, these cookies, six to a tray, were one of our main drawing cards. They also make wonderful gifts at Christmas or any other time of year, for that matter. I have at least two friends, who deliberately visit in hopes that the cookie jar has been freshly stocked.
It's too good a recipe to not share. Anybody with rudimentary culinary skills should be able to easily reproduce them, if you follow the pictures and recipe. There are also several delectable variations that we have tried and enjoyed.
1 1/3 cups of margarine (butter would be even better)
2 cups of brown sugar
2 1/4 cups of quick cooking rolled oats (oatmeal)
2 1/4 cups of white flour
1/2 cup of bran (the best way to get your fiber, I say)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of vanilla flavouring
1 tsp of baking soda
Add the margarine and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl. Beat the two together.
Add one fresh egg. Mix well.
Add salt, vanilla, baking soda. Mix well
Add bran, oatmeal and flour and mix thoroughly.
Turn the oven on to 350 F.
Roll dough (or scoop if you dislike getting your hands dirty) into generous 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet. Be sure to leave about 3 inches between balls.
Flatten the balls out with a fork.
Place in the oven and set the kitchen timer for 7 minutes. Check cookies at seven minutes. If you want a light golden brown cookie, you may want to leave for another 30 seconds, but definitely no longer. Good cookies are usually slightly under done as opposed to over-cooked. (My opinion, not shared by all the cooks in this household)
Using a metal lifter, take the cookies off the pan and put on a large sheet of waxed paper to cool.
Once the cookies can be handled and somewhat set, you will spread raspberry jam on one cookie and slap a second one on top.
That was the step that makes these cookies, the masterpieces that they are. The best option is homemade raspberry jam. My wife uses the Certo Light recipe, which includes fresh or frozen raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and Certo Light. You could also use your favourite freezer jam recipe. If those two options are not available or appealing, buy the best quality raspberry jam you can.
Put the finished cookies in a container and freeze. They will not keep, kept on the counter, nor will your waistline. These cookies are wonderful served straight from the freezer or microwaved for 15 seconds. They are also a much superior substitute to the purchased fruit bars or granola snacks for lunches.
Some of the variations we've tried:
First of all with the cookie dough:
Scrap the notion of a filled cookie and after adding all the ingredients, throw in two cups of chocolate chips and just make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.
Second variation on the dough. You can throw in a tbsp of ground black pepper. It just gives the cookies a unique bit of nip.
Variations on Fillings:
My number one favourite is of course raspberry jam but try some others too.
Dates: Buy a package of dried pitted dates. Chop and add enough water to see. Boil and stir until the dates and water become a thick paste. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix. This is my wife's personal favourite.
Cranberry: We used the leftover jellied whole cranberries from Christmas. We usually cut this half and half with raspberry jam.
Marmalade: Use a good quality marmalade jam for a nice tart cookie.
Chocolate Peanut Butter: Make a chocolate paste, by melting chocolate chips. Spread on one cookie. Spread peanut butter on a second and you have a somewhat healthy Reese's Pieces style cookie.
Balsamic Fig: We have a wonderful store in our area that produces and markets all manner of gourmet sauces and jams, Mrs McGarrigle's Mustards. www.mustard.ca/ They stock an absolutely wonderful Balsamic Fig, Red Pepper Jelly, manufactured by the Perth Pepper and Pestle Company. www.perthpepperandpestle.ca/
Come on, have a cookie. You may find that one is just not ever quite enough.
And that is about all I have to say for today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.