I was dreaming up this cookie for weeks before I got down to working on it. I wanted something that was loudly oats, brown, toasty, full of butter flavor. My favorite cookbooks didn't have a recipe nor could I find anything by searching. I put an all call out on my food-centered Instagram feed and a farmer friend sent me her recipe. Like mine often are, the recipe she sent me was complete with scribbled asides, caveats, and substitutions. I had to smile. I love glimpsing other people's cooking processes. We are such creative beings and, when it comes to getting food on the table, experiments abound.
I got into research mode and read about melted butter versus creamed and types of sugars. While it was interesting to finally understand what words like "hygroscopic" meant, the thing that struck me most was a little line I read that said something about cookies being more resilient than breads and such. Cookies never surprise you by molding on your counter. (Thanks, sugar.) That's right, cookies are for keeping. They last in a jar and travel well. They are just fine in the bottom of your bag even if you forget about them and find them there on Thursday.
The cookie I wound up with is definitely what I was looking for. Bonus! It's a one bowl, no mixer needed, no room temperature butter, whip it up pretty quickly kind of thing. Double bonus! It's packed with whole grains. No nuts. No expensive mix ins. The addition of honey and browned butter layers in some complex flavor but mostly I'll just think you'll notice the yum. Finally, a cookie that lets the oats and butter shine through.
Toasty Oat Cookies
makes about 30 cookies
10 tbls. unsalted butter
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tbs. honey
2 tbls. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. rolled oats
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Brown the butter. Place sliced butter in a small skillet and set over medium. Stir occasionally and watch carefully. When it's brown around the edges and delicious smelling, immediately pour the butter into your mixing bowl. (If you let it sit in the pan, it will burn.)
To the butter, add the sugar, honey, milk, and vanilla. Mix well, then add in the egg.
Add the dry ingredients to this, then mix well.
Form balls about 2 inches with your hands and space out generously on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball gently with your fingers.
Bake at 325F. Pull cookies out after 15 minutes if you want them to be softer in the middle. Bake for 20 minutes for a fully crisp cookie.
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Testing recipes with toasty oat cookies