Posted in Warm the Soul

A Handful of Love: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

thepartysinthekitchen.me
Hero, my granddaughter, with a handful of yummy love.
When I was growing up my mom used to make the most delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. One of my most vivid memories is an image of one of her cookies. It was big as my hand and I felt so blessed (my adult thought about my feelings then) to have it.

The thing is, cookies aren’t a need. We indulge simply because we want to. The is just something about them when they come from an oven in someone’s kitchen. Store bought never quite invoke the same feeling of warmth and specialness. Homemade cookies are like a hug making life just a little sweeter. Everybody needs a little love now and then.

Fact:

Life is better with fresh baked cookies.


Sadly, I don’t have my mom’s original recipe for her Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies, but I have found one that everybody loves. Recently, I was told by a friend that she was dreaming about these cookies. You can make them with straight chocolate chips but I like to mix it up with some raisins and nuts. There is really no limitations on the mix-ins. Use your favorites. Enjoy!


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, you can use unsalted but I prefer salted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chocolate chips, or a combination of chips, nuts, and/or dried fruit

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Add egg and egg yolk, and vanilla one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until everything is completely incorporated.
  5. Stir in oats until uniform.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips or your own combination of yumminess.
  7. Form small, walnut-sized balls of dough with hands or scoop. You can make bigger if you want a hand sized cookie. These days, I want several smaller ones. Hehe.
  8. Drop balls/scoops of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet that has parchment paper or has been greased a bit with some butter.
  9. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes. I live at 4000 feet above sea level, so my cookies took about 14 minutes.

Yield: Depends on the size. Walnut-sized dough balls yield about 4 dozen.

 

 

 

 

Posted in The Party's in the Kitchen

Going Home

I went home this week.  Well, not exactly my home but the one that belonged to my mom until she up and moved to heaven. It had been nearly two years since her death and this would be the first time I would be back in a place that had always included her presence. I wasn’t really sure what feelings would be stirred up within me.

Stepping through the door, I realized things had not changed in her absence. My sister now takes Mom’s place in the kitchen where so many celebration meals have been prepared. From the look of the counter, the tradition carried on.  It was covered with good things to eat.  Luscious flatbreads, pans of lasagna and that green pudding with its bits of pineapple and pistachios were all present as they had been in the past. Additional yumminess arrived. Aunt Sarah’s Cheesy Potatoes, Breaded Morel Mushrooms, compliments of my brothers, and my own cake slathered with Browned Butter Frosting rounded out the already abundant selection.

Daughter, Genevieve and sister, Jeannie.
Daughter, Genevieve and sister, Jeannie.

We filled our plates and ate and talked and talked and talked. It was all very comforting to sit around the table and enjoy each other’s company. For the moment, it all felt very normal as if no one was missing from the circle. I guess in a way everyone was accounted for.  Even though Mom was not physically with us, her heart had stayed behind. The spirit of the day made that evident. It was exactly as she would have planned it. I will hold the memory close as one of the best.

Where we love is home–home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Enjoying the beautiful afternoon.
Enjoying the beautiful afternoon chatting and laughing.

I asked my sister, Jeannie, to send me the recipes she cooked up for our visit. I left them in the form they were sent. I like that it is less formal and more like the way we would tell someone how to prepare the dish.

The following are the recipes for the bread, green pudding and the peanut butter cookies. The lasagna is just your basic recipe but she says she always uses Prego.

Bread Machine Flat Bread
The bread is easy. In the bread maker I put in one cup of water and one packet of dry yeast. Wait ten minutes for yeast to bloom and add three tbsp sugar, three cups of flour, two tsp salt and one third cup oil. Set bread maker to dough sitting and start. When the dough has risen I spray a little Pam on a larger pizza pan, dump the dough on it, sprinkle a little flour over the top and spread it out by pressing it with my hands, as large as it will stretch without making holes in it. I let in rise in a warm place and brush with about three tbsp melted butter, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 until brown and lovely.
Green Pudding
Green stuff is two pkgs of instant pistachio pudding, two cups milk and one small can of drained crushed pineapple . Mix the pudding according to pkg directions, then add the well drained crushed pineapple.
Gluten-free Peanut Butter Cookies
Mix one cup peanut butter, one cup sugar, one egg and half tsp vanilla. Scoop onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. Press with fork. Bake at 350 until golden brown.
Posted in Baked Perfection, Coffee Time, Involving the Heart

No To-Go Cup, Please

Along in the afternoon, my thoughts turn to a cup of tea and a little something sweet. It is certainly a very nice respite for a busy day. While visiting Germany, I found this to be the common practice. Whether we were out and about or happened by a friend’s house (Yes, people actually do that there.), coffee or tea was brewed and a cookie was offered without fail. And it was all enjoyed while sitting and visiting.

Coffee Time at a little bakery found on the square of Radeberg, Germany.
Coffee Time at a little bakery found on the square of Radeberg, Germany.

In our grab and go culture we miss this simple pleasure of refreshment around some small talk. If we actually took time to sit and enjoy each other’s company, we might find our lives a little less hectic and a little more meaningful.  You see, the refreshment does not come from the snack like we think.  You’ve seen in the old movies when they ask, “Would you take some refreshment?” Food was certainly was offered but I believe it was far more than that. Refreshment comes not from the eating of treats rather the time spent in sweet fellowship. And time is a key component to making it all work.  Friendship is not fast food. It a sit down occasion to be savored.

Life is better shared with friends. It’s just a fact. So take a break from the hectic and find refreshment.

“To be with old friends is very warm and comforting.”

~ Ian Ziering


My daughter gifted me Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food: From My Frontier cookbook a few years back.  I have used many of the recipes and all of them have been pretty delicious. It is my go-to reference when I want to take something to a potluck or share with a friend.  The following is a cookie recipe I used recently for a Bridal Shower.  I think they would also be the perfect thing to serve your friends while you sip tea and invest time in each other.

Citrus Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 Sticks) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, Separated
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest (approx 1 Tablespoon Each)
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And/or Lime Juice (2 Tablespoons Total)
  • Icing
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lime
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
  • Dash Of Salt
  • Extra Zest, For Decorating

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set whites aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

    Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

    To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.

    Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then do it again in the other direction. Sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.

    *Check out her site for beautiful pictures of the step-by-step instructions.

    ENJOY!

    Table set for tea at a friend's home in Germany. It was a beautiful time of sharing our lives.  This created a memory that will stay with me for a long time.
    Table set for tea at a friend’s home in Germany. Beautiful.

    If you enjoyed reading this blog, take a look at another blog I write. Girl on Adventure is a collection of lessons God is showing me as I move through life.  I hope you enjoy it.