Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Uncle Allan's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together first three ingredients. Cream butter, shortening and sugars. Add eggs, beat well. Add dry ingredients, then stir in nuts, oats and chocolate. If desired, chill dough. Roll dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes.

My notes on this one: First of all, thanks for waiting so long. I promised I'd post this one the last time I made cookies! Second, I'm pretty sure the wording here is my mom's -- god bless my Uncle Allan, I doubt he ever wrote in his life "roll dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each." The changes or variations I use are as follows -- I substitute 1/4 of the white flour with whole wheat flour. I use all butter, no shortening. I don't bother to chill the dough. Some other notes -- if you're stirring this one and wonder whether your arm is going to fall off and whether that could POSSIBLY be the right density -- it's perfect. The is an incredibly thick dough, and very hard to stir. I don't know why, but it comes out great. Use a kitchen-aid mixer if you have one, but if you make a double batch, you're going to have to mix it my hand, and it really does take some arm strength. They also don't spread out a heck of a lot. Finally, 9-12 minutes is a good estimate if you're using regular pans -- I use air-bake pans and they take longer. Expect 12-15 minutes if you use those.

Uncle Allan was an amazing cook, a natural. Not a gourmet, at least, not while I was around him, but instinctively a good cook. In fact, if I remember correctly (it's been a long time), he couldn't even write this recipe down because he never measured, just dumped things in. My mom had to watch him do it and measure as he went. For a short time, he owned the Over the Hill Bar and Grill, the logo an R. Crumb character I wouldn't recognize for years, although I had a shirt from the bar. And you know I've been a vegetarian for almost 16 years, but I can still remember that Allan made the best patty melt I ever tasted. He moved to Oregon when I was still relatively young, and there he worked mostly as a cook. For a time, in a kind of funny coincidence, he worked at a vegetarian restaurant a couple nights a week and a German place the other nights. He went from Keilbasa to kefir cheese. He was a good man, with good intentions. He died a couple years ago, and even though I didn't see much of him the last few years, I still think of him and still miss him. If you make these cookies (which are hands down the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat), let me know. And if you pass on the recipe, please keep his name in the title. Thanks all,
Count Broccula


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