I have inherited a massive recipe box from my husband’s mom, most of which is filled with dessert recipes–her specialty. Every holiday season, we’d get at least two large tins filled with nearly a dozen varieties of cookies–Swedish cinnamon shortbread, Lithuanian mushroom-shaped cookies, mini pecan pie bars, tea danies, orange rolls and nut penuche. Each cookie was unique and had an interesting history of its own, which made opening the tins such a joy because you never knew what you were going to get and there was always a story to go along with each cookie.
Although I wasn’t born with the baking gene like she was, I am determined to carry on the lovely tradition of showering family and friends with cookies at the holidays–even if it takes me a few years to work up to her level of finesse. So here is the first of what I hope will become an impressive arsenal of Christmas cookie recipes in the years to come.
Resources used: Epicurious.com posted this recipe from Gourmet magazine. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies have always been one of my favorites–I love the slight grittiness of the oats playing off the moist, chewy center of the cookie. The semi-sweet chips add just enough indulgence. I’ve named them for Sean’s mom in honor of her love of all things sweet and the joy she found in working so hard on her Christmas cookies just to give almost all of them away.
Betsy’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
Method: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oats. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition, and add the vanilla. Carefully add the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Note: It’s important throughout the mixing process to stop and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything’s incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips with a large spatula.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
Bake the cookies in batches in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool cookies on racks–all except the one you absolutely must taste to ensure it’s just right. Betsy wouldn’t have it any other way.