Well, That Didn't Last Long

In my last entry I lamented the new emphasis on healthy foods only that I was being dragged into. Today I am pleased to report that this appears to be over, or least scaled back to an acceptable compromise. A week from Saturday Lauren and I leave for South Carolina, where we'll spend 9 days or so with her family. This means we need to have our own Michigan Christmas responsibilities taken care of by next Friday.

Last night we decided it would be nice to give people some baked goods as a small but thoughtful Christmas present. We were inspired by the Food Network's 12 Days Of Cookies celebration. Lauren's cookies will be going primarily to co-workers and mine will be given to friends. But before any of that can happen we need to choose at least one recipe and give it a trial run. So last night we selected Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies:

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
* 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
* 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* Brown Butter Icing, recipe follows

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until mixture is light in color. Add buttermilk. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in oatmeal, raisins, walnuts, and vanilla, blending well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Brown Butter Icing.

Brown Butter Icing:

* 1/2 cup butter
* 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 to 4 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough water (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle on warm cookies.

The only thing I would change from this recipe is the amount of icing. The recipe makes about 50 cookies. You could hit 60 if you're really anal about your portions. However the icing recipe makes enough to dunk 60 cookies like an Oreo in milk. If you're just drizzling you can cut the icing in half, unless you're big fan of diabetes. We baked them for the full 15 minutes and they still came out very moist. Even Lauren liked them, and she doesn't like Oatmeal Raisin cookies.


Rach said...

mmmmm....cookies. I bet they're delicious. Have you seen Alton Brown's Good Eats episode on cookies? Its very informative. He goes into all the scientific reasons why some cookies are soft, hard, chewy, etc. One thing I learned is that margerine or shortening has a higher melting temp...and therefore will make your cookies chewier!! Lauren said she doesn't even like oatmeal cookies, but she liked these. I'm pretty sure that almost every Paula Dean baking recipe will be delightful as she does NOT skimp on the good stuff.