Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oatmeal Crispies

My mother is a talented if unenthusiastic baker. Her pies are far and away the best I've ever tasted, so good that I never order pie at a restaurant because I'm always bitterly disappointed. She also bakes outstanding cookies and desserts like date nut squares. Not that she makes a big deal about it. Far from it. Mom has always been much more interested in art and art history (she is a retired art history professor) than the domestic arts.

The other day, mom gave us a new recipe, oatmeal crispies. They were outstanding. She emailed me the recipe and I tried them this weekend.

The recipe, which follows, was straightforward: cream shortening (gets a bad rap. Actually much less saturated fat than butter), sugars, eggs, etc. add flour, oatmeal and crushed walnuts, cool dough in fridge and bake.

A few tips. I made my dough log too thick, so the cookies, while tasty, came out the size of hockey pucks (see above). Too big. I should have cut the dough into two or three pieces and shaped each into a log. I also didn't keep the dough in the fridge long enough. As a result, it was too soft, making it hard to slice into rounds for baking.

Lastly, I had to crush the walnuts because my wife doesn't like certain kinds of nuts (only certain kinds, mind you, not all) unless they are in microscopic pieces. I achieved this by putting the nuts in a plastic bag and pulverizing them with a meat mallet.

A great recipe. Here it is:

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar tightly packed
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped (in my case, crushed) walnuts

Cream the shortening, sugars and eggs. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour, salt, baking soda, oats and nuts and mix well. Divide dough into two or three pieces, depending on preferred size of cookies, and shape into logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate at least two to three hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough, slice into quarter inch rounds and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 10 minutes and cool on wire racks.


  1. I'm enjoying your blog, Chris.

  2. This recipe sounds great! One note about shortening - nutritionists now believe saturated fat is better for you than hydrogenated oils, which is what most kinds of shortening are made of. There are a couple of brands that don't contain hydrogenated oils - hopefully you used one of these?