Monday, December 17, 2007
Crisp oatmeal cookies
Sometimes what I want is not fanciful layers of meringue, mousse and ganache but a crisp oatmeal cookie studded with tiny purple-black currants. Raw mascobado sugar, its soft golden crystals speckled with molasses, streaked these cookies with deeply flavored caramel. They are perfect for a child's goûter and with a mug of thick hot chocolate in front of the fire (or, in my case, the oven), far from the madding Christmas crowds.
I had been after a recipe for crisp oatmeal cookies for years, ever since I stupidly lost the one handwritten for me by my ex-boyfriend's grandmother, and finally found it while flipping through The New Basics Cookbook. From the founders of the famed Silver Palate deli in New York, it's a book I had been neglecting for some years without good reason. I'll be coming back to it for the vegetable-packed soup recipes, buttermilk waffles and deliciously retro-sounding Spiced Party Nuts.
These cookies are buttery and crisp with a touch of chewiness, just the way I like them. The organic mascobado sugar from my local Fair Trade shop added so much character that I decided cinnamon wasn't necessary. I also dropped the walnuts, because I think that in a great oatmeal cookie there should be little to distract from the oats themselves. So, tempting as they might be, keep your chocolate chips for another cookie.
Lacy oatmeal cookies
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar (preferably an interesting one like mascobado)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried currants
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease 2 baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
Toss the oats, flour and baking soda together in a bowl.
Beat the butter and sugars together in a bowl until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the dry ingredients and currants.
Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden about 10 mins. Leave the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 mins, then transfer them to wire racks to cool.