Most people will brush off an oatmeal cookie. And why not? Typically, they're just oatmeal. No splash. No thrill. Having to eat oatmeal cookies is like being forced to hang out with your bland cousin--not the so creepy he's cool one who collects used ziplock bags, but the one who eats Vienna Sausages dipped in ketchup--when you really want to hang out with your awesome cousin who has a fake ID and a convertible (the cool cousin being chocolate chip cookies or snicker doodles or goat cheese sugar crisps or pan cookies or peanut butter florals or what have you.) (Whatever, I like the analogy)
Not me, though. I love an oatmeal cookie. The oatmeal cookie and all it's fiber-laden simplicity calls to the Midwestern genetics in me that my mom has worked so tirelessly to destroy (but somethings can't be helped; this love of sweat pants and trashy TV didn't evolve on its own, Mom). They're filling, but not too sweet, so you can eat about a million of them before you feel sick. And, you can convince yourself that since it's oatmeal, butter, and brown sugar, you're basically eating a bowl of oatmeal. That makes them a breakfast food. Aw yeah. But more than that, oatmeal cookies remind me of dad's mom, Gramma.
I didn't have close relationships with my grandmothers. Growing up in a military family, we moved a lot and it was never in the same area, or even state as them. So apart from family visits when I was younger and birthday cards and Christmas presents, I didn't really know them. I was an incredibly shy kid and couldn't pick up the phone, and I was a bad pen pal. By the time I was old enough to realize how cool it would be to know my grand mothers, Mom's mom, Grammy, had passed away, and Dad's mom, Gramma, developed severe dementia, and years later, passed away.
But, Gramma did leave an indelible mark on me in the form of oatmeal cookies. She had this recipe that was like nothing I've ever tried before. They were basic oatmeal cookies, but they were white. And they had this taste to them that I've never been able to replicate, or find in store bought cookies. It was like a raw cookie dough taste, rich, savory, but fully baked. It's plain, but it's haunting.
I couldn't get enough of them. And whenever we'd visit, she'd always make a batch just for me, and keep them in a big, round, blue tin. We have her recipe, but they don't taste the same. Whatever secret ingredient or method she had, I didn't pick up.
Enter, my mom's new oatmeal cookies.
These cookies are incredible and delicious in the own right. But after I ate my 6th one last night, I realized just why I loved them so much--they taste just like Gramma's cookies. I ate two more and slipped into a diabetic coma, smiling the fattest smile of a sweet, loving, food reunion.
While she somehow stumbled upon Gramma's secret, she also added a lot of sexy ingredients that I usually sneer at, like coconut and white chocolate chips. And somehow, all of it works. The texture is soft with slightly crunchy edges, with almond-inspired sweetness that really sets it off. Even the color is luscious. This oatmeal cookie would put down the ketchup covered sausages, and totally let you drive its convertible. And then buy beer for you and your friends.
So go on, put on some stretchy pants, make sure there's a gallon of milk in the fridge, and make these cookies.
And after you're done eating the entire batch and hating yourself, call your gramma.
The Superior Turner Cookie by Kim Turner
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all purpose flower
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1/2 cup shaved coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- combine flour, almond meal, salt and baking soda, and set aside.
- cream together butter and white and brown sugars.
- add eggs one at a time.
- add vanilla and almond extract.
- slowly mix in dry ingredients
- slowly mix in oatmeal and other mix-ins (coconut, pecans, white chocolate chips)
- use an ice cream scoop to make balls of oatmeal dough deliciousness, and distribute them on baking sheets
- bake for 8-10 minutes at 325*
- remove immediately from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
- you aren't baking successfully unless you've dirtied up every measuring device you own.
- pull the cookies out when they're almost done. They'll continue baking when you bring them out of the oven, and it maintains the soft texture/crispy edge harmony.
- For every baking sheet you bake, you get one spoon full of raw dough to eat.
- Therefore, use every baking sheet you own.
- You can use parchment paper on the baking sheets to save on clean up. Or, if you want your daughter to work harder at washing dishes, don't.
- Don't be surprised when your daughter works up such an appetite scrubbing up the cookie dishes that she eats half the batch by herself.