Thursday, April 8, 2010

Food for Thought Thursdays: Three Generations of Oatmeal Cookies

Rachel here: For this week's FFTT installment, we are delighted to feature my two lovely and amazing cousins, Emma and Sage (their mom, Kaja, posted a few weeks back). They've written their own fabulous pieces about themselves and the recipe they're sharing, so I won't say too much here other than that these two are just as vibrant, thoughtful, and generally fantastic as they seem. Thanks for sharing, girlies!

Emma here: I’m Jake’s niece and Rachel’s cousin and I live in Colorado. I just made these cookies with help from my little sister Sage- and they’re gone already. My Oma didn’t like chocolate- the only time she would eat it was when we were hiking- so when she made these cookies they were simply oatmeal cookies. But my mom added the chocolate chips and they now rule over all other cookies- they are my absolute favorite. I have to say, that as a growing high school student, I tend to eat some dough- and if you eat dough too- the best time to eat it (or simply lick the spoon) is right after you added the oatmeal and chocolate chips and you are slowly stirring the mixture. It was a Saturday afternoon and I had been dreaming about eating these cookies and my mom had finally bought some Quaker Oats (those are the best kind to use) and 2 bags of chocolate chips- no you only use about one bag- the other was simply for us. I never measure the oats though. My Oma was that way too. She never knew exactly how much to put in; it was always what looked and tasted good. So I’m actually not sure if the above amounts of oats and chocolate chips are correct- they are simply what taste good to me. I get the huge cylinder of oats and just begin sprinkling them in. Then I dump a fair amount of chocolate chips and just stir and taste and add some more. It is a wonderful process.

I actually don’t remember my Mom’s mom cooking these cookies all that much- what I remember was the simple stuff. Not the long process things- because I would soon disappear with my cousins into our boutique in the back yard. But she had a garden and I remember one morning she took me out- just me- and we picked some fresh blueberries. And then we came back inside and mixed them with freshly cut melon to make our own fruit salad. Then Oma went back into her kitchen and brought out the bag of sugar. She had a spoon and just sprinkled the smallest bits of sweetness onto the fruit. And then so did I, with maybe 2 spoonfuls. Then we ate breakfast just Oma and me and our blueberries. But it was the simple act of adding the sugar that enticed me and, to tie back into our cookie recipe, the sugar and butter are the absolute base of the cookie. And now, this recipe seems simple to me. I guess as you continue to make something, especially something so good, it tends to stick with you, and become a part of you.

Sage here: I am Sage Reynolds and I am 10 years old and I am Rachel’s (favorite) cousin. And I want to be a chef when I grow up. Whenever I bake oatmeal cookies, I will always ask my mom, “How much of this?” or “How much of that?”, and all she’ll say is, “Oh, however much you want.” When we bake the cookies, I will come running up to help cook them because, to tell you the truth, that is my favorite thing to cook. The recipe is different almost every time we cook these delicious treats.
Also, when Oma used to come over for holidays, she would always cook. And when Emma and I asked her, “Do you need any help?” she would just say, “No, no, no, I am cooking for you guys, you don’t need to help.”
I love baking these cookies, but I hate it when my sister eats all of the dough!

Our Oma’s (Chocolate Chip) Oatmeal Cookies
First bowl:
2 sticks sweet butter- soft
2/3 cups sugar- white
1 cup sugar- brown
3 eggs
In other bowl:
1 1/2 cups flour- add some for high altitude
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups of oatmeal (ish)
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Almost a full bag of chocolate chips (about 3/4 of a bag)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the butter and sugar together until combined and then add the eggs. In the other bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and then add the salt if you want to (we never do and it seems to be fine.) Then combine dry mixture into the butter mixture. Add the vanilla and thoroughly combine and then stir in the oats. Add in however many chocolate chips you desire and mix everything completely so that the oats and chocolate chips are evenly distributed. Spoon dough onto a greased baking tray and put in the oven for about 9 minutes. (Varying the size of each cookie is a wonderful idea- big cookies for Dad and smaller ones for Sage.) Then let them cool for about 3 minutes on the pan before removing them and placing on a cooling rack. Start next batch.

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