Last Saturday, it rained. Again. All day. I have a hard time being productive on a weekend when it’s raining (Ok, fine. I have a hard time being productive on a weekend, period. Better?), especially when I make brilliant life decisions the night before, like drinking and sleeping on Cousin’s couch, probably snoring so loudly that I woke up the rest of the house’s occupants. And so the dirty laundry – which, in case you’re wondering, is overflowing the hamper as well as the closet and laying squarely in the middle of my bedroom floor – did not get washed and my suitcase from visiting Boyfriend did not get unpacked. Go ahead, tell me I’m a responsible adult.
Instead, I baked cookies. Because there is nothing else in the world I find more comforting than puttering around the brightly-lit, warm kitchen in my pajamas, baking – except, of course,the aftermath, which is me, sitting in my warm living room, under a blanket and still in my PJ’s, watching sappy movies and eating cookies. Man. I lead one exciting life. Aren’t you jealous!?
Oatmeal cookies are a funny thing – people have very strong feeling about them that I’ve never quite understood. You have the raisin-haters, the raisin-embracers, the don’t-go-putting-something-healthy-like-oatmeal-into-my-damn-cookies camp, and the why-are-you-making-oatmeal-fattening crew. Personally, I’ve always loved them, which isn’t saying much, considering I pretty much like all cookies. I do, however, remember being allowed to eat them for breakfast when I was younger (a ploy to force me to eat anything, since I was so incredibly picky and didn’t eat much when I was a kid – how times have changed!), so probably there’s still some subliminal preference hanging around my brain about these cookies being superior. I don’t know, I wasn’t a psych major. I just knew that on Saturday, I wanted them.
I never make these the same way twice – sometimes there’s more butter, sometimes it’s replaced with something healthier. Sometimes it has walnuts, while other times it’s almonds, or peanuts, or no nuts at all. And the question of whether there will be raisins rests on whether or not my brother will be eating them, since he maintains that raisins taste like shit. But he dips carrots in ketchup, too, so I don’t get too caught up in his opinion.
Regardless of your oatmeal-cookie preference, these are worth making. And making soon. And also, just so you know, they survive pretty damn well in a Fed-Ex box traveling from NJ to Boston. I’m just saying.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Once the mixture is pale yellow and combined, stir in spices, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and baking powder. Mix, then add in flour and stir (or beat) until combined. Batter will be very thick.
Add nuts and walnuts, incorporating throughout the dough. Mix (by hand) all of the oats into the dough. Spoon one teaspoon of dough onto a greased cookie sheet, flattening slightly. These cookies don’t really expand or spread in the oven, So don’t bother leaving too much space in between.
Cook 8-10 minutes, just until set and cooked through. Bottom will be golden brown.