Monday, September 27, 2010

"i'd eat every word"

the food: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
the song: "The Beaten Path" The Good Life

Funny thing about us Texans. We don't understand fall. At the first sign of cooler weather...and I mean the first sign... we start dressing like it is winter. It is about 65 degrees right now, sunny and gorgeous out but I promise you that somewhere in Austin someone is wearing a beanie. Possibly with a zipped up hoodie.

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm no different. I love warm weather and I'm always blue when I have to put away the sandals and sundresses. But as a cook, fall means something different. It means the beers get better and my garden provides fresh greens. Also, I get to bake. 

Browsing my Google Reader this morning, I find myself bookmarking baked goods and considering a run to the store to make cheese biscuits. The husband is gone, so that means I'd have to eat them all myself. I've got to put on some weight if I'm going to survive this bitterly cold weather.

In honor of the first cool day Austin has seen in six months, I'm going to share with you a cookie recipe. These are the husband's favorite cookie. They also happen to be my dad's favorite cookie. It's one of those "my mom passed it down to me, now I'm passing it down to you" situations. 

Just like all my favorite baked goods, these aren't very sweet. They are good for dessert or breakfast (chocolate is a totally acceptable breakfast food, and don't let anyone tell you different.) They contain coconut, which is usually not a favorite in this house. In these cookies, though, the coconut is more about texture than flavor.

Don't let the short direction list fool you, these cookies are a little tricky. The batter is not very moist, so given the chance the cookies will thin out and crumble. My mom shows me up everytime she makes these. When they finish baking, her cookies are perfectly round little bites of evenly cooked deliciousness. They look almost the same when they come out as when they go in. I don't know how she does it, because always mine flatten out in the oven and just look like normal cookies. Mom secrets, I suppose.

A few tips to keep these cookies from getting too thin and crumbly. First, keep them small. A heaping tablespoon is fine- any larger and they are going to start spreading across the pan. Second, wet your hands before you form the cookies on the pan. The added moisture helps them hold together. Third, don't worry too much about it. These cookies are fabulous, and even if they aren't all that pretty the first time you make them, chances are they will still get eaten.

Mine are still not as pretty as my mom's, but maybe with a little practice I'll get it down one day. I better go gather up my ingredients right now...

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup quick oats
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Measure dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix well. Stir in oil, egg, and vanilla. Wet your hands with water and form batter into 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.


  1. *drool* I'll have to bake these to send (some) to my kid @ college -- thanks! (I'll keep some for breakfast, too.)

  2. Mmmm. You are one good mama! :) I hope they are a hit. I've gotten good feedback from everyone I've shared these with.

  3. WOW. These look scrumptious! I hardly ever bake - bad wife! - so Ross will be so happily surprised if I bust these out some day.

    Oh, and about the flattening out. That always happens to me, no matter the cookie! I have a theory:

    A) Softening the butter too much. As in, liquefying it. Which fortunately, isn't a concern here! But I've noticed that tends to make my cookies spread out a little bit more, and get all thin.

    B) Using more FLOUR. I think this is probably your mom's secret! It holds everything together, and makes all the ingredients more resistant to spreading out everywhere.

    Finally - I've said it once and I've said it before, E, you are such a delightful writer. I genuinely look forward to each and every one of your posts. Keep up the good work, dollface!

  4. i've actually made these twice now - the first time with chocolate chips and the second time with golden raisins. Both times with chopped walnuts. Ended up using sweetened coconut flakes cause HEB didn't have unsweetened. I cut down the white sugar to about 1/3 of a cup b/c of the coconut issue. both times they didn't flatten out and i actually smooshed them down or molded them to be flatter. they're really good and easy to make. i'd also like to think they're healthy-ish, too.

  5. Thank you guys for the feedback and the baking tips! It is really helpful to hear what works for other people.

    @ Austin Eavesdropper: thank you for your kind words. You are such an encouraging internet friend to have! :)

    @ ht: Chopped walnuts are a genius addition! I'm trying that next time. I'm glad you didn't have the flattening out issue. I'm starting to wonder if maybe my oven isn't as precise as it could be. Hmmmm...