Sometimes, the kids need cookies.
They are often interested in the muffins or the quick breads, Nathaniel more so than Juliet, and they expect the steady flow of them to keep coming. But then there are just those aha! moments when I realize that they DESERVE cookies. At this point it gets challenging because Juliet doesn’t like chocolate chips, at least not in anything homemade, and if I make peanut butter cookies, which she does love, I will probably eat them all before anybody else is smart enough to hide them. And thus, these Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies stepped in to fulfill the need, more perfectly than I’d hoped.
I made them big, because big cookies are fun, and I only made them a wee bit healthier than the original recipe, just because I can’t help myself. And look at them!
The road to cookie success started with whole wheat pastry flour — it makes oatmeal cookies nice and light — and wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Once I whisked them together, I was struck by a cinnamon urge.
I whisked again.
And then it was time for the butter. I may be the queen of swapping out butter for yogurt & healthy oils, but these were cookies and I believe that in most cases, the heart and soul of a cookie is in the butter. No compromises.
That may not look like a lot, but I was using these oddly-cut sticks of butter from Trader Joe’s. It was almost two sticks. So what makes butter even better, when you’re not thinking about health and weight loss? Sugar! And lots of it. Two kinds, no less.
The mixer did its work. There’s something almost hypnotic about watching the paddle go around and around, transforming butter and sugars into this light, fluffy, amazing new substance.
Magic, I say.
In went the egg and vanilla.
I added the dry ingredients.
And once the flour was fully incorporated, I tossed in the oats.
I finished up by spatula.
It was time to make big cookies. I finally got a chance to use my big cookie scoop. I scooped out batter, rolled it into large balls. The directions said the cookies would spread quite a bit, so I only put eight on each sheet, leaving plenty of room between them.
I flattened each one gently with the bottom of a glass, and popped them into the oven. I found that 15, sometimes 16 minutes was exactly right to get them a tiny bit brown around the edges. I let them cool on the baking sheets, as suggested in the recipe.
Then they were sent to the rack.
And then they were sent to the children, via hand, plate, and napkin, and there was great joy all around.
These cookies are delicious! Crispy on the outside, a tiny bit chewy on the inside but still all about crisp and oatmeal and a little whisper of cinnamon. These are the cookies you want after school, or in your lunch, or after dinner, or instead of breakfast (oops). They’re just satisfying and hearty and taste like home, wherever you are.
THIN AND CRISPY OATMEAL COOKIES RECIPE (original)
My version of Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but not too warm
1 (scant) cup cane sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 (generous) teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 cups rolled oat
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until well mixed, remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture incrementally and mix until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the oats and mix well.
Remove bowl from mixer and give the batter one more go with a spatula to make sure there are no flour pockets remaining.
Scoop out large balls of dough — about two tablespoons — and place on cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Leave room — these cookies will spread!
Bake (one sheet at a time) for 14-16 minutes until the edges just start to get crisp. The insides can still be soft. Let cool completely on the sheets before moving to a wire rack.