Friday, July 18, 2014

The Cookie Project: Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Warning: These cookies might trick you into thinking you are eating "healthy." My friend Kathryn Trattner Herd (aka "Katie") is a writer, librarian, wife, and mom expecting her second child in August.  Her recipe bakes out wholesome puffs of goodness with just the right amount of sweet- kind of like Katie! Make a batch of good old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies and show her some blog love by clicking on her link to read about her writing goals and works in progress!

Soft Oatmeal Cookies by Kathryn Trattner
Katie is a garland around your beautiful long blond hair kind of girl!
My mom learned to cook in my Great Grandmother's Kansas farmhouse kitchen. The two story white farmhouse I visited growing up wasn't the one of her childhood but I can't imagine that there was much of a difference when it came to dinners served.

Our summer visits were made up of fresh catfish fried in a cast iron skillet, homegrown tomatoes, sweet corn, and cantaloupe. Ice tea was a given, a big pitcher on the table and everyone's glasses full of ice. And from the oven the scent of oatmeal cookies made from scratch.

Growing up our house wasn't a chocolate chip cookie house like my friends were. If cookies were getting made they'd be oatmeal. And my mom would make them in great big batches - just like her grandmother had. Pan after pan would come out of the oven to cool - all available counter space covered and the whole house smelling like vanilla and raisins.

Recipes were read but rarely followed. I asked my mom what her recipe was for oatmeal cookies and she pulled out my Great Grandmother's cookbook and looked it up. But when I asked her which one she said all of them and then listed the things she'd change.
Soft Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar (I love the low sugar in these cookies) 
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup oatmeal- dry (I used Quaker Oats)
2 cup flour

Combine raisins in water and cook 5 minutes (This makes the raisins soft- who knew?!); drain and reserve 5 tablespoons juice and combine juice and baking soda.

Cream sugar and shortening - beat in eggs and flavoring. Stir in oatmeal, salt, and raisins. Add juice, soda mixture, and flour.

Drop by spoon and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

P.S. From Katie:

Soft Oatmeal Cookie Care Package
"I wouldn't consider myself an oatmeal cookie person - I'd rather have a Snickerdoodle or shortbread. But more and more I find myself reaching for an oatmeal cookie. It's a piece of my childhood. It doesn't matter if the cookie has come from the store or a coworker; it's always going to be a little piece of my mom. I still see her standing in the middle of the kitchen, the sink full of bowls and mixing spoons, flour dusted on the counters, and the ticking of the timer as we waited for the cookies to come out of the oven".

My batch made up two dozen, you might want to double if you were planning to share because they are THAT GOOD!