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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Empty No More

Everyone has their thing (or things) that bug them.  Some people can't stand mess.  Others can't stand too much tidiness.  Everyone has their thing.

For me, I hate an empty cookie jar.  It's depressing.  It just seems so wrong to have a nice jar standing empty, when it should be filled with delicious treats.  Maybe it harkens back to when my kids were little, and the cookie jar was my big bribe for following directions or behaving well.  (Yes, I was one of those mothers who bribed with food.  So shoot me.)  Who knows why, but the need to have a full cookie jar has stuck.

It would be easy enough to always have cookies on hand if I was one of those people who bought cookies at the market or the bakery.  But alas, I am not.  I am a baker and my kids have, for the most part,  grown up on homemade cookies, with the occasional exception of Oreos and Mint Milanos.

The funny thing is that they've never been annoyed by their homemade desserts.  Why, you may ask, would anyone ever be annoyed or disappointed by anything homemade?  Well, let me tell you a little story.

Back when Ted was a little kid, his mother used to bake bread.  She used this bread to make sandwiches to put into his school lunches.  This bread was crumbly, probably not very well suited to the rigors of peanut butter and jelly.  The sandwich would fall apart every time, and there were the other kids with their intact sandwiches made with Wonder Bread.

What kid wouldn't prefer a sandwich that stayed together in favor of a crumbly one?

But I digress.  We were out of cookies.   I'm not sure anyone else noticed, but it was bugging me.  I recently picked up a new cookbook put together by a mom to fund kids cancer research.  Why not give those chocolate chip cookies a try?

They came out great.  The addition of oats to the batter made the cookies a little more substantial, and their inclusion allowed me to pretend that these cookies were healthy.

And, our cookie jar is no longer empty.

Recipe:  Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Cookies For Kids’ Cancer Best Bake Sale Cookbook, by Gretchen Holt-Witt.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.


2 sticks (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (110 g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (80 g) old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups (525 g) chocolate chips (semi-sweet, or mix of white and semi-sweet)


Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325° F/165° C.

In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, one at a time, beating well between.

In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat until everything is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into rounded teaspoon-size balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet, and gently press each down. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies start to brown at the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container.

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