Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oatmeal Cookies

For the first time in a few weeks I actually felt like eating something today. I've been living on instant chicken soup you prepare in a mug and saltines, so I guess it isn't shocking that I finally got hungry. Oatmeal cookies seemed like a good re-introduction to food.

Oh sure, I know what you're thinking and it is absolutely true that I could have made a bowl of oatmeal and saved myself the butter, brown and white sugar and salt-but who'd want to eat that? My father-in-law calls oatmeal "gruel", and I'd have to agree. Oh to be sure, it is nutritious, but so are sheep's kidneys (according to my grandmother) and many other nutrient-rich foods. I don't want that. I baked cookies instead.

I used the recipe I've been using forever (came off the lid of an oatmeal canister) with a few changes. I added real butter, double the raisins and a generous amount of salt. I know salted oatmeal is all the rage today but my mother was tossing salt into our oatmeal back in the 60's. So there!

I used the store brand oatmeal because I'm thrifty and I don't like the look of old Smilin' Willie Penn's phiz on the name-brand label. He looks like he has gas, which given that it is oatmeal is entirely possible. Ever notice how his eyes follow you around the room? OK fine, so you don't notice these things...or so you claim but I know that he's grinning because he's just bludgeoned the Keebler elf to death and hidden the body in a shallow grave (why is it always a shallow grave? Seems if you're going to go to the bother of killing someone you ought to dig a grave of a decent depth to avoid being stumbled over by mushroom hunters and joggers...but I digress) beside the hollow tree. I guess he could be grinning as an act of nonviolent resistance...but I kind of doubt it. We had a housekeeper when I was growing up that used to turn the framed photographs around because she didn't like them watching her as she cleaned. I wonder what Ella Mae would have made of the Happy Society Of Friends guy? My guess is she'd have bought the store brand (which actually as I recall, we did). So what was I talking about? I know, you come here for the short, succinct posts.

Again, these cookies aren't health food (and um, taking two and making a sandwich with homemade whipped cream isn't healthy either) but they really did hit the spot.

You Will Need:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups oatmeal (I used old fashioned but quick oats are fine)
2 cups raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat together the butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to the butter mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Mix well.

Place by tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes until browned on edges. Transfer carefully to racks and cool.

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