Six-in-One Oatmeal Cookie

When I was in graduate school in Fort Collins, my colleague and friend Sara and I would find moments to go and spread joy within our department, to our friends and colleagues, and to encourage delighting in the little things.  I took this into my first job after grad school and would, on occasion, walk around or drop off treats for folks.  Over the course of the last ten years, this has continued to evolve, and on my current campus, we often use the phrase “Make people matter.”  It seems a little cheesy sometimes, and in this times of higher education, there certainly is not a budget for this, but when it’s easy to become frustrated by the day-to-day or be reminded of the frustrations, one of my goals for the last eight weeks of the academic year is to do a better job of demonstrating to people that they matter and thank them for doing the parts of their job that are not always fun, but need doing.  And, while it’s nice to do things to acknowledge the work other people are doing because it helps them to know I see their work, it also helps me to maintain a positive attitude when I am intentionally recognizing the hard work of others across the campus.

In order to achieve this goal, I spent some time over spring break mixing up different cookie doughs and freezing cookies so that I could then bake a dozen cookies and bring them to someone when I see them doing something great.  When I came across this six-in-one oatmeal cookie recipe from the Moss Heaven cookbook, I thought it looked worth trying out.  For the batch photographed below, I incorporated a raisin, golden raisin, craisin mix from Trader Joe’s and grated orange peel into the recipe.

Six in One Oatmeal Cookies

Six-in-One Oatmeal Cookie

1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
3 c quick-cooking oatmeal

Variations (mix in one of these):
1 c coconut
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 c cut up gum drops
2 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 c raisins
1 c cut-up dates

Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

S’more Chippers

I was looking for a really easy cookie recipe a few weeks ago that I could make without having to put in a lot of effort.  I didn’t really feel like making a mess and measuring out a bunch of ingredients.  Some days I’m just not about the cooking.  I imagine most folks, even professional chefs and bakers, have a day or two when they want to slow down and enjoy life a little differently.  I began flipping through some different cookbooks, looking for an easy recipe and came across this one for s’mores cookies in the Pillsbury Best-Loved Holiday cookbook.  While I’m sure people could be more complicated and use their homemade cookie recipe, in this instance, I went for full-on ease.  I bought the packaged chocolate chip cookie dough and put the cookies together.  They look complicated, but were easy to assemble and easy to eat afterwards!

S'more Chippers.jpg

S’mores Chippers

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
18 large marshmallows
Chocolate candy wafers

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape cookie dough into 36 (1-inch) balls; on ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.  Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Meanwhile, with kitchen scissors, cut each marshmallow in half crosswise. Immediately place 1 marshmallow half, cut side down, on top of each hot cookie.  Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until marshmallows begin to puff. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. With fingers, gently flatten marshmallows.  Melt candy coating as directed on package. Spoon about 1 teaspoon candy coating over marshmallow on each cookie, swirling with back of spoon to nearly cover marshmallow. Let stand until candy coating is set, about 30 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

Gumdrop Cookies

I was speaking with some students the other day for whom I want to make some treats.  They helped me out at the last minute with a problem I was having and I want to say thank you to them.  When I asked about food allergies or concerns, the students said, “Don’t make us cookies.”  This isn’t an unexpected response, necessarily.  Cookies are almost always available in our dining hall.  These cookies, however, came from our family cookbook and are a little different in terms of flavor — Gumdrop Cookies.  And, when I thought about it, why wouldn’t someone love combining gumdrops and cookies into a single item?

Gumdrop Cookies.jpg

Gumdrop Cookies

2 c gumdrops, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c Crisco
1 tsp milk
2 c oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c coconut

Cream eggs, sugar, shortening.  Add milk and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add to egg mixture.  Add gumdrops, oatmeal, and coconut.  Dough will be very stiff.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes.  Do not overbake.

Snickers Candy Bar Cookies

When the end of Halloween came, I found myself with a number of fun-size Snicker bars hanging out at my house.  I could eat them myself or bring them into work, but it also seemed like a good chance to use them for baking.  I had friends who were moving, family driving through to see other family members, and an election to celebrate being over.  This recipe seemed like a sure-bet for some post-Halloween deliciousness.  It’s from our family cookbook, and is another one submitted by a cousin of mine.  On election night, it was the perfect slightly labor intensive cookie to put together while watching the results come in.

Snickers Candy Bar Cookies.jpg

Snickers Candy Bar Cookies

1 c margarine or butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
3 c flour
1 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
60 snicker or milky way miniatures, or 10 regular bars, cut into 1″ pieces, or funsize bars, but into 4 pieces

Mix together all ingredients except candy bars.  For each cookie, shape dough around candy piece, forming a ball.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool and then drizzle with chocolate glaze: Combine 1 c powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  Add 1 Tbsp milk, then additional milk 1 Tbsp at a time to make drizzling consistency.

Honey, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

I was walking through a used bookstore and came across a cookbook from the Amana Colonies.  Since the Amanas are a local delight, I had to pick it up.  Oma’s (Grandma’s) Family Secrets: Generations of Amana Cooking was a cookbook I needed in my collection.  There are a number of recipes in here which look delightful, and a few that I’m not sure I need to make (like one for squirrel), but part of what is great about the recipes in this book is that they are all handwritten.

I knew I needed to make these cookies because I had all of the ingredients for them, and I was thinking about the holidays coming up and wanted to try a few more recipes out in preparation for the days.  These were nice because they were super chewy cookies, and they weren’t overly sweet.

honey-oatmeal-and-peanut-butter-cookies

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Crusher Cookies

 

Last summer I was in Minnesota for the weekend and visited one of my favorite stores in the Twin Cities — Patina.  While I was there, I came across this awesome puzzle, which excited me the most because my hometown was a featured location, along with the Jolly Green Giant:

But, I also came across a cookbook called Twin Cities Chef’s Table.  I keep paging through the cookbook, looking for the perfect recipe to make.  When I came across the recipe for Crusher Cookies, from Sun Street Breads, I was intrigued by a recipe that would feature sugar cones as a key ingredient.  How could I not make them?

So, after a week of excitement on-campus, I was ready to spend part of a Sunday morning baking.  And, I was delighted by these cookies.  I wasn’t expecting something this delightful to enter my mouth.  Obviously, I need to make a trip to Sun Street Breads when I’m in Minneapolis next.

crusher-cookies

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Raisin-Oatmeal Brickle Cookies

When I made cookies to take into some folks last week, I also saw this recipe my cousin Katie had put into our family cookbook.  At our start of the year kickoff meeting at work, we were celebrating ten years of a meeting where our campus staff get together and share the “news you need to know.”  To celebrate, I volunteered to make some “sweet treats” for door prizes and one of the departments had said oatmeal raisin cookies might be what they wanted for their prize.  This recipe that had a little twist — golden raisins and bits of heath bit-o-brickle — added a little bit of fun to the traditional oatmeal raisin cookie.

Generally, when I’m making cookies, I don’t spend much time worrying about putting parchment paper down before baking.  However, with the bit-o-brickle in here, it added another level of sticky to the cookies and I found the parchment paper to be a necessity.

These cookies get pretty sweet.  That added toffee adds another dimension of sugar to the already-sweet cookies.  I also thought they spread better when I rolled the cookies into balls instead of really dropping them onto the pan to bake.

raisin-oatmeal-brickle-cookies

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