Why am I now thinking of Cookie Monster, my most favorite Sesame Street character…besides, Grover and the Swedish Cook?
Old, Old, OLD recipe. I was a newlywed and we had just moved to West Texas. I knew about 2 people in the entire town. One of them lived down the road…a warm, friendly lady who happened to the mom of one of my best friends at college. Which is how we ended up in West Texas. My friend’s daddy was also the school board president who was looking for a history teacher in the middle of the year. Weird huh? i thought so too, but it seems the prior teacher had just quit. Couldn’t take it anymore. Yikes! So they called us and seeing as how Big Boss had just come home from basic training in CA and had been medically discharged, he was more than happy to take the job!!
Sigh. West Texas. One hundred long miles from home. Sigh. And I was PG. Just barely. And throwing my toenails up, all day every day. What a way to make a new start?!! But thanks to the nice people in that West Texas town, I was made more than welcome and found new friends and a new church and lots and lots of new recipes. And I still use them. Often.
One of the first was oatmeal cookies. I had walked down to my friend’s mom’s after a long long day of hanging my head over the toilet and BB was out working on a ranch after school that day. So I was lonely. Anyway, I got to the house juuuussstttt as she pulled out a cookie sheet of just baked oatmeal cookies. OH MY GOSH were they good. And yummy. And, best of all, I could keep them down. Wouldn’t you know. Cookies that didn’t make me sick.
She graciously gave me the recipe and I headed home to make cookies!!! Yay!! Something to do besides be sick!
For years and years, I made those cookies. My mother-in-law, arguably one of the best cooks alive, even asked for my recipe! Wow!! They must be really good?! BB’s basketball team requested them for every away game right up to the State championship game. Those cookies were part of the team! They helped those tough West Texas gals win too!
And then we moved back to the farm where I continued to make my oatmeal cookies that had now been refined a bit. My mother-in-law taught me how to bake soft, gooey cookies…undercook them, add a bit more flour, more vanilla, a tad more salt and keep air away from them. Right. Got it.
And then one day I was browsing through my stained, ratty cookbook that I had made right before I got married and huh, lookie there. My mother’s refrigerator oatmeal cookie recipe that she made all through my childhood. The refrigerator part meant you mixed the cookies up, then rolled them into a log, put them in the “icebox”/refrigerator to chill, them sliced them up thin and baked them till they were crunchy. Could you believe it?! It was the same exact recipe that my friend had given me in West Texas, except for the refrigerator and slicing part! I was shell-shocked. I had the recipe all along and didn’t know it. Color me whatever color DUH is.
So here it is, slightly altered through the years but still BB’s favorite cookie. He likes raisins in them. I don’t…I like pecans in mine. So I don’t put anything extra in them. Sort of a compromise. OK, sometimes I cave and throw raisins in but I won’t eat them. Really. Honest I don’t!
Mother and Nelia
1 cup shortening, butter flavored or 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening 🙂
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 cups Quick/instant oats
Cream the shortening with the sugars. Add the eggs and beat till fluffy. Add dry ingredients in the order of the recipe. Depending on the size of your mixer, you may need to stir in the oatmeal by hand as this makes a pretty stiff dough. My 6 qt. KitchenAid handles a double recipe fine but my old Sunbeam could barely handle a single recipe. You might consider asking for a nice big KitchenAid for Christmas. They are worth every dime!
Off track…drop by a tablespoon or a cookie scoop on to an ungreased cookie sheet. BTW, do NOT skimp on cookie sheets. Get good ones and they will last a lifetime. I bought the insulated kind years ago. I scrub them down about once year with a stainless steel scrubber and they shine right up. There’s no brand name on them and I have NO clue where I bought them. All I know is they make good cookies and never burn the bottoms. They might overcook because the cookie baker forgot to take them out but that’s not the cookie sheet’s fault.
OK we have cookies on the cookie sheet. Put them in a 350° oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch them the first time for browness. Every oven is different. And be sure you put them in the middle of the oven..not the top rack or the bottom rack because we all know what you’ll get doing silly things like that!
Once they’re done, take them out of the oven and let them cool a bit on the cookie sheet…I usually set mine a wire rack or a burner on my electirc stove top (make sure the burner is NOT on) After 5 mins. or so, remove them carefully with a flipper/spatual thingy and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. One way to be absolutely sure they are cool is to quickly eat one. Sure fire test!
Store in airtight bag or container and hope there are cookies left the next day. These things are deadly warm. Although I will say, the oatmeal cookie dough just doesn’t rock my boat. At all. Now chocolate chip cookie dough or sugar cookie dough are irresistible.
And I have never in my entire life made a single recipe of any cookie dough. Ever. Why would you do that? They freeze well. Everyone loves them so you can give them away if you’re afraid you’ll gorge yourself on them. So go for broke and make a double recipe. That’s pretty much my philosophy on all recipes. Why do just one when you’ve got everything out and the kitchen is messed up anyway? Any arguments out there?!! 😀
Last but certainly not least….