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Grandma Waak’s Oatmeal Cookies

May 27, 2012
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The more I study food, the more intrigued I am by unique flavor combinations and multi-faceted desserts that really play with your preconceptions about the sweet ending to your meal.  My current fascination is herbs.  Who knew that thyme was such a good foil to strawberries, or that my sage-lime shortbread experiment would turn out so well?  And I’ve become enchanted with lavender.  Too little, and it disappears.  Too much, and suddenly you’re eating soap.  But if you have just enough, something really special happens.

Even so, there is still a special place in my heart for simple recipes and simple flavors.  I love making cookies at home, and every time I see a cookie plate on a dessert menu, I balk a little bit.  I just don’t think cookies belong in a restaurant.  Cookies belong on a scratched-up sheet pan in a cozy kitchen, warm from the oven and served with a smile.  No restaurant could impress me with a cookie.  The sentiment just isn’t there.

This recipe is really unique because, unlike any other oatmeal cookie I’ve ever seen, it’s rolled out and cut into rounds.  The result is a fantastic cookie that is crispy and buttery on the edges and soft in the middle–a truly decadent cookie if ever I tasted one.  With a ingredient list only six items long, however, this recipe is a poster child for excellence from simplicity.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my family has and will continue to do.

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Grandma Waak’s Oatmeal Cookies

(Adapted from “Canadian Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies” in Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book)

1 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 c. rolled oats

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla.

2. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/vanilla mixture and mix just until the ingredients are fully blended.

3. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours or until it is stiff enough to be rolled out.

4. Preheat the oven to 350º.

5. On a lightly floured surface or a silicone mat, roll the dough to 1/2” thick.  Cut the dough into squares, diamonds, or other desired shape; Grandma always used a round cutter.  If you have scrap, gently pat it together to 1/2” thickness and repeat shaping process until all of your dough is gone.  If you still have scrap… eat it!  You won’t regret it.

6. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edge and slightly underbaked in the middle.  (The cookies will finish cooking on the hot baking sheet.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Keith Waak permalink
    May 27, 2012 11:34 PM

    I love these cookies! Always remind me of trips to Grandma Waak’s house 🙂

    -Keith

  2. fiona permalink
    May 28, 2012 4:50 PM

    Until you said it I never realised that the main ingredient in cookies is love! That explains why even the best store-bought cookie is a bit lacking. This recipe sounds so promising (the pic helps… a lot) that I’m prepared to go to a British food shop to hunt down some brown sugar. Maddening that it’s not stocked in normal stores here.

    PB is also not a thing in Germany (crazy, right?) so I made some tahini cookies the other day. Tasty cousin to the PB cookie!

    • May 30, 2012 5:33 PM

      Tahini cookies sound fantastic! I bet those would be great with chocolate chips… might have to try that soon.

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