Oatmeal: Like it or lump it?
Guest Post by Lisa Parker, Cakes for All Seasons
Lumpy oatmeal, with plenty of butter, a dash of crunchy kosher salt, heavy cream and brown sugar. That’s what I’d like my last breakfast on earth to be. In the meantime, I’ll settle for lumpy oatmeal with plain yogurt.
Why lumpy, you ask?
Well, when my parents were courting, my father was an Air Force pilot stationed at Loring Air Base in northern Maine. My mom’s family lived on a potato farm not far from the base. When dad got off duty, he would often stop by the farm very early in the morning and have breakfast with my grandparents. Gram made lumpy oatmeal that he adored. When mom came downstairs, ready to leave for work, Gram would announce that “Bill came by for breakfast.” I always loved that story.
My other favorite way to eat oatmeal is, of course, in cookies.
I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookie with oatmeal in it that I’ve made over the years with golden raisins, cranberries, nuts and toasted coconut. Adapted from a wonderful little cookbook called Diner Desserts by Tish Boyle, it is my go-to recipe for big, yummy cookies.
Lisa Mae’s Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies
Have all ingredients at room temperature.
brown sugar, firmly packed - 1 1/3 cups (10 oz)
granulated sugar - 1/3 cup (2.3 oz)
unsalted butter - 1 cup (8 oz)
salt - 3/4 tsp
eggs, large - 2
vanilla extract - 1 T
all purpose flour - 1 3/4 cups (8.75 oz)
baking soda, - 1/2 tsp
baking powder - 1/2 tsp
rolled oats (not instant) - 2 cups (6 oz)
Kitchen sink options:
2 1/2 cups (12 oz) or more of any combination of the following:
chocolate chips, white chocolate chunks, dried cranberries, raisins, toasted nuts, toasted coconut, dried cherries, chopped apricots, or replace some or all of the oatmeal with your favorite granola, you get the idea!
Cream the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the salt here to make sure it’s mixed in really well. I use kosher salt because I like the little crunch it gives when you bite into it.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, mixing well after each egg is added. I use pure vanilla extract. My current favorite is Mexican vanilla. It smells like heaven and adds a rich, creamy flavor.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and oatmeal. I sift in the baking soda because it’s often lumpy and doesn’t always mix in well. My tiny strainer is perfect for this.I weigh my flour. If you don’t have a scale, use the “dip and sweep” method presented by Dédé Wilson of Bakepedia.com.
If you put the oatmeal in last, it helps keep the flour from making a dusty mess. You can also put your “kitchen sink” additions in here. Mix until everything is uniform. The more you mix, the tougher your cookies will be so don’t over mix. Dump the dough out onto the counter to make sure there aren’t any globs of butter and sugar at the bottom of the bowl. If there are, mix them in by hand until it’s a uniform mass.
Now that the dough is mixed, it’s time to scoop. My favorite kitchen tools are my assorted sized scoops. They make uniform cookies, pancakes and muffins. Since I sell my baked goods, I make notes on the yields of recipes using different sized scoops so I can accurately price my desserts.
Cookie recipes often instruct you to chill the dough for at least an hour and then scoop. It’s so much easier to scoop the dough when it’s soft then chill the portions. Put the scoops on a tray, close together. Once they are firm, you can wrap them up in packages, label and freeze for another time.
To bake, pre-heat the oven to 350F, and place the dough portions on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper leaving room between them to spread.
If the dough is just out of the freezer, allow it to warm up to room temp. If just out of the fridge, allow to sit out while the oven pre-heats. Flatten the dough balls with the palm of your hand.
Bake until they are as done as you like them! I bake mine for 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the dough ball. I like a big cookie, soft in the middle, just baked through. If you you like them crisp, pull them out of the oven halfway through, flatten them some more with a metal spatula and return to the oven to finish baking.
Cool and enjoy!
If you don’t eat them all right away, put in an airtight container. Adding a crust of bread to the container will help keep the cookies from going stale.
Lisa Parker has been playing with desserts for years. After 20 years of baking desserts and playing with cake, she attended the French Pastry School in Chicago and graduated, with honors, from the L'Art Gateau program. She creates “delicious, joyous cakes and desserts” for wedding couples, party planners, and party goers in southern and coastal Maine, southern New Hampshire, and the Mt. Washington Valley.
Lisa can be found at Cakes for All Seasons where she says, “Let’s meet, I’ll bring the treats!”