Thursday, May 7, 2009
Spring Fever with Cookies
My neighbors ask me every year, "What kind of tree is that?" The 'host' tree is a crab apple, which is nice enough, and has the usual pale pink flowers in early spring. The real show is when the Lady Banks Rose that is climbing the apple tree blooms. It has thousands of tiny yellow roses all over it and looks this beautiful for weeks. It was one of the first things I planted when we moved into this house.
I saw one blooming a few years ago when we were walking in Fiesole, Italy that was as big as a house. From the looks of it it won't take long for mine to get that big, the red you see in the picture is the roof of the Alfa.
Is there anything sadder than an empty cookie jar? Nothing sadder around here. The whole Hunting Creek tribe eats cookies with the unbridled enthusiasm of Cookie Monster. When I try new recipes I can gauge how good they are by how fast the cookie level drops in the jar. I knew that these would disappear quickly; I've been making these since I was in college. I cut the recipe fom the back of a Gold Medal flour bag in 1977.
Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (from Gold Medal Flour circa 1977 with improvements by Mrs. Hunting Creek)
First thing, preheat your oven to 350. Now gather your ingredients, or as a chef would say, do your 'mise en place.' (In Mom-terms, that means get everything you need out and ready)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter ( I only use real butter. Margarine has never darkened my butter dish)
1/4 cup water ( I use cold coffee left from breakfast. It makes the cookies taste more chocolate-y)
1 teaspoon vanilla (I make my own and you should too - see directory for recipe)
1 1/4 cups unbleached flour (or use half whole wheat and half white - I do sometimes and no one can tell)
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 package 6 ounce size chocolate chips ( or use milk chocolate, or white chocolate or a combination)
Cream together sugar and butter, then add egg water(or coffee) and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Fold in chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. bake 10-12 minute s- mine took 11 minutes - so check yours. Ovens vary. They won't be goopy but cooked in the middle when touched. Let cool for a few minutes then remove from the cookie sheet. Makes 5 1/2 dozen cookies, which means that they will last 2-3 days around here if I am lucky.
My family begs me to bake cookies all the time, but I find it very tedious unless I can listen to music or watch a movie while rotating pans in and out of the oven.
My favorite cookie is oatmeal raisin, but since I live in the midst of an anti raisin Cabal, I never get to have them unless I want to hear LOTS of anti-raisin rhetoric. Since it's Mother's Day this weekend, that seems to be the Perfect Time to make them!
What's your favorite cookie?