I recently made these cookies again and they were so good, I wanted to remind you about them and challenge you to give them a try. They sound pretty weird but they are, really, some of the best cookies I have ever made. And they are not at all hard to make.
Here is a picture of our son, Philip, and our grandson, Hunter, showing off a plate of them they made for Fathers’ Day.
If you look at all the great cookies recipes I have shared on this blog, you might get the idea I am an expert and alway make perfect cookies. Not so. Thursday, I had a cookie catastrophe. I took the recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cherry Toffee Chocolate Chip Crisps. I made them exactly by the recipe except that I substituted three cups of cooked quinoa (left over from cookies from two weeks ago) for the oats. The original cookies needed to be flattened a bit before cooking. These spread out and ran together, almost forming a sheet cake. Even when I let them cook long enough that they were dark brown, they were still soft. When I scraped them off of the parchment with a spatula, they came off like putty or clay. I put them in a big Tupperware in the refrigerator where they formed one, big, amorphous blob. There they sit, teasing me with the challenge of coming up with something to do with it. I quickly made up a batch of Tad’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to take to the hospital.
Lesson learned: you can’t just substitute quinoa for oats.
I just hired a PR guy to help me promote my cookies. Here is what I am going to put on every bag of cookies I make from now on:
The Art of the Cookie
Begin with a baker’s soul. Seek the finest ingredients. Explore nature’s infinite variety of flavors and textures – crunchy, sweet, rich… oh, and chocolate.
Entertain inspirations. Embrace decadent cravings. Reward yourself. Open…Taste…Delight.
Actually, I got this off a package of Pepperidge Farms cookies someone left lying around the emergency department. Who the heck writes stuff like this?
A friend of mine, Janine, brought me a bag of curry-flavored granola. She bought it but the curry flavor was a bit too much for her. I used it, rather than the oatmeal I usually put in my trademark chocolate chip oatmeal recipe. It was subtle but a couple of people in the emergency department immediately recognized the unusual flavor. I think I will try it again with some other kind of granola. Thanks, Janine!
Serving Size: 72
1 cup shortening
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour, 14.5 ounces
2 teaspoons soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups curry-flavored granola
4 cups chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. In separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and cinnamon.
5. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture.
6. Stir in chocolate chips and granola.
7. Form into balls on cookie sheets.
8. Bake 13 minutes or until just turning brown on the bottom and around the edges.
One of the things I really enjoy about baking is being organized and in control. I move through the kitchen smoothly and efficiently, timing my activities for best results. It fits my personality and pleases me. This is best done alone or with a capable assistant.
Our youngest daughter, McKenzie, took a very early interest in my baking. Whenever she realized I was getting things out to bake, she would come straight into the kitchen and ask, “Can I help?”
I am embarrassed to say that, at first, this set me back a bit. Inside, I would groan at the challenge this would be to my baking efficiency. I am not embarrassed to say, however, that my priorities always put her and our relationship above those selfish feelings that drove me to groan inside at having a little, inexperienced assistant in my pursuit of baking efficiency.
Every time I baked with McKenzie, I really enjoyed it and the result was that she was not only a great baking companion but became a very capable baker in her own rights.
The other day, we discovered a paper she wrote for a middle school English writing assignment. It warmed a father’s heart to see how well she wrote and how much she had taken baking into her own heart. With her permission, I share it with you today.
By way of explanation, she said, “I would have been in 7th or 8th grade (2002 or 2003.) It’s funny, when I read this I thought, ‘This must have been for Mr. Hanes’ English class.’ His writing style and lessons stick out the most in my memory. He was huge on how you structure your essays, with intros, transition sentences, main points 1, 2 and 3… It’s funny to read and see me trying and follow those principles precisely.” This explains the nature of this essay so well.
How to Make the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
The sweet chocolate chips mixed with the tangy vanilla… This is how you make one of the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. The first step is to get all of the ingredients together. Next, you have to mix them, and last is a few secrets to make them better. The first step is all of the ingredients.
You have some dry, and some wet ingredients in these cookies. It calls for 3 cups of flour, 1½ teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 3 cups of oats, 3 cups of chocolate chips, and 1½ cups of white sugar and the same for brown. The wet ingredients are, 1 cup of real butter, 1 cup of shortening, 2 eggs, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. The next thing you have to do is mix them together.
All of these ingredients must go in a special order. First, is the butter, shortening, and sugars. You let them mix up really well. Then, you add your eggs and vanilla and mix well. Next, you put in all of the dry ingredients. The last two steps are the chocolate chips and then the oats. There are a few more details to make perfect cookies.
I have a few secrets to my success. The first one is I do not cook them for a set time. I cook them until they are slightly brown on the edges. The second one is to soften the butter so that it mixes in easily. The last and most important is not to use Quick Oats! All of these useful tips will help make great cookies.
There are many ways to make cookies but there is only one real way. Three steps to make these wonderful cookies are last, my secrets, next, the order you mix them up and first, the ingredients that you use. This is how you make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.
For anyone holding his or her breath for a new Tad Bag, I am sorry to say you are out of luck. My sewing machine is on the blink and in the shop so no sewing is going on in the Bad Tad sewing room.
I asked my daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, to pick the cookies to share with her emergency department this week. She selected:
They turned out great and I am posting this to remind you to give them a try.