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I’ve made these cookies so many times in my life, with so many different people that the memories have all melted into one big delicious ball of chocolate, oatmeal and cookie dough.
Memories of creaming the butter and sugar with Mum. Getting to plunge my cheeky mitts into the bowl. Digging out the mixture. Tossing it unceremoniously onto the baking paper. I probably argued with my sister over who would get to finish off the bowl and who the beaters. The bowl was better of course.
In my mind’s eye, I am so small I have to stand on a chair to reach the bench, but I’ve continued to make these cookies long after I grew tall enough.
The heavenly smells of cooking sugar and chocolate transport me to the days when afternoons were long and not filled with homework, and never-ending to-do lists.
The perfect balance between gooey and crunchy, chocolate and oats, enraptures the taste buds.
I once tried, and failed to make these cookies for my family in France. There was no brown sugar to be found, the result was crunchy cookies. I learned the hard way that you need brown sugar to make good cookies.
I later found out that you can make your own brown sugar with normal cane sugar and molasses. Once we try it we’ll be sure to tell you guys all about it.
The recipe came from one of my favourite cookbooks. You know the ones: losing the cover, decorated with food stains, the spine well-creased to favourites. It’s Bill Granger’s Bill’s Food. Well-loved, heavily-used and full of awesome, simple recipes.
Normally I adapt recipes a little, adding an ingredient here, omitting one there, substituting according to what we have in the house, or tinkering with measures and flavours. But I have yet to properly do so with these cookies. The ingredients are such basics that we always have them on hand, the ratios are so perfect I haven’t felt a need to tinker with them. The only thing I did do, was add a lot more chocolate chips, and well I just think it would have been sad to leave only 50g of chocolate chips in the bag. This time I did think, as I dipped one in coffee, that a bit of coffee essence instead of vanilla might be rather nice.
- Depending on the size of the cookies, the cooking time will change (less for smaller, more for larger).
- If you don’t have chocolate chips, breaking up a block of chocolate is more than acceptable.
CHOC OATMEAL COOKIES
FROM BILL GRANGER’S BILL’S FOOD
MAKES 30 SMALL-MEDIUM COOKIES
TIME: 35MIN – 15MIN PREP, 15MIN COOKING, 5MIN COOLING
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (230g) brown sugar, compacted
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (125g) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups (235g) rolled oats
230g (1 1/3 cups) chocolate chips (preferably dark)
Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix in, then the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Preheat the oven to 180oC (170oCFanForced – 3500F ). Brush up several baking trays with oil. Roll small tablespoons of mixture, and place them on the trays with around 4cm between each, as they will grow quite a lot whilst cooking. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until pale golden. Leave them on the trays for 5 minutes, or until they set enough to pick them up without them losing their shape. Serve hot, with coffee or hot chocolate, or let them to cool entirely on a wire rack, before boxing them up for later.