Cookies, Yum! What a treat.
And hear ye, hear ye, about another treat we’re proud to announce: Inspiring Cuisine is now in print. We will be setting up our account for ordering the books tomorrow and will let you know what is the best way to order. Be watching your e-mail.
Back to cookies
We used to have them all the time when our children were little: ginger cookies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal crispies, brownies, lemon cookies, Austrian chocolate balls, sand tarts, sugar cookies, M&M cookies, Rio Lace cookies, peanut butter chocolate bars, Chocolate Oatmeal drops. And on and on.
It’s fun to think about, and it makes me want to get out the ingredients Dale gives us for “Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal Cookies” and make some right now. A treat for grown-ups , for we’re all still children at heart.
And, of course, if you still have children at home (or grandchildren visiting), these are the perfect nutritious snack.
My mother, who really did not like to cook, did have a few good recipes. One of them was oatmeal cookies. From where the recipe came, I don’t know, but I liked it because the texture was more cake-like than other oatmeal cookies and the flavor had less of that bitter molasses taste that you get with dark brown sugar. It was a blond cookie, light and delicate, but still chewy. I had the recipe written down once but lost it years ago, so I decided to replicate it and in the process added a few touches that were my own.
You will need:
½ cup of Butter 1 ¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ cup of Shortening 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
¾ cup Light Brown Sugar ¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves
¾ cup Granulated Sugar 2 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs 1 ¼ cups of chopped Pecans
1 teaspoon of Vanilla ¾ cup of Chopped Dates
½ teaspoon of Salt 2 ¼ cups of Oats
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- If the dates and pecans are not chopped, chop them before you begin mixing.
- With a stand mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugars together until they are light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves and mix them well.
- Add the flour, pecans, dates and oats gradually.
- Don’t be alarmed if the mixture gets to be stiffer than your mixer can handle. If that happens, add a few drops of water, sparingly or finish mixing the dough by hand. The dough should be stiff.
- Portion the dough onto an ungreased sheet pan by tablespoons; about twenty to a pan. I find that using a spring type scoop makes the job easier. Fill a cup or small bowl with water and dip the scoop in the water before you scoop each cookie. Fill the scoop with dough and level it off on the rim of your mixing bowl. The cookies will be more uniform and your fingers won’t get sticky.
- Bake the cookies one pan at a time on the center rack of your oven for 9 to 11 minutes.
- In my oven, 10 minutes is the optimum time. The bottoms are nicely browned and they are still moist. Each cookie emerges from the oven with a nice dome, not flat, and they are only slightly browned on top – still blond. Exactly the way I wanted them to be.
- They are not your ordinary oatmeal cookies so they will disappear quickly. You might think of hiding a few in the freezer.
Food for Thought:
Whatsoever Things Are Lovely
Dale focuses today, not on the less than stellar dishes his Mom created but on one that was especially good. That makes me thing about how my mom used to make these wonderful meringue pies: chocolate meringue pie, butterscotch meringue pie, lemon meringue pie. Seldom a week went by that we didn’t have one of her simple, but delicious pies. Who does that anymore ?
My mother wasn’t perfect, but thinking about the positives of my childhood helps me appreciate her a great deal more.
All of us have relationships in the past that somehow went awry. They leave us wounded. Thinking about even one positive of that relationship and how God used it for good (as He’s wont to do) can gentle our resentments work like a salve on our hearts.
The color of our mind, the atmosphere of our soul is determined by whether we think negatively or positively.
That strange verse in the Sermon on the Mount about having light or darkness in our eye surely must have to do with whether we think negatively or positively. If we dwell on the negatives, there is darkness inside us. If we focus on the positives, there is light. I’m sure there is much more to it than that. But that’s one take-away.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
In the dark days of December, we make it a practice to put up Christmas lights and decorate the house to commemorate the greatest positive in history: Jesus coming to earth in the form of a baby, so he could experience all we experience and die for our sins.
That’s what we do to fight the gloom in December. But what about January?
In January it often gets even colder and grayer, and we stay inside and sometimes get the doldrums. That’s been my lot this year. Last year about this time I was excited about planning for the cruise we were going to take to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. This year I’m in a slump. My health isn’t that good these days, and I’m feeling more dependent than is comfortable. But on the true and lovely side, husband and family love me and support me in a myriad and multitude of ways. Thank you, Lord!
Jesus’ last words before He ascended to heaven were, “I am with you always. . .” Author Sarah Young writes from God’s viewpoint about applying that promise. “When my Presence is the focal point of your consciousness, all the pieces of your life fall into place.”
Do you ever feel your life has gone to pieces? The puzzle pieces are everywhere, floating free, falling on the floor, turned over, not quite fitting, negative. What is happening, Lord?
When I considered some of my negative pieces along with the fact of God’s faithful and continual Presence in my life , these are some of the pieces that fell into place:
- As I go through this physical pain, You are with me and You will work even this into good, perhaps through the people I meet in pool therapy, assuredly through the disciplines I’m learning that will make me healthier.
- As I worry about whether or not I’ll be able to get through the busy day ahead I think of you, Lord, “with me” and remember what you’ve said: “As thy days so shall thy strength be” (Reference)
Another helpful exercise for lightening the atmosphere of our minds is to list the things in Philippians 4:8 we’re advised to think about: What is true, honest, just, lovely, good report, any virtue, any praise. Then beside each good thing, write a recent specific from our lives. For example:
True. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .That God’s word anchors my life,
That He has said, “I will never, never, never forsake you.”
Honest. . . … . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The clerk yesterday who returned my extra money.
Lovely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A newly decorated story board, my friend’s blue scarf
Praise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The deep soul-felt music at church last Sunday
Have fun with me using the two exercises above and watch your life fill up with light, with positives that lift your spirits and help you move forward with Christ.
And on the way, make some cookies!