Thursday, January 7, 2016

Slice and Bake Oatmeal Crispies

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make ahead slice and bake oatmeal cookies



My mother and grandmother used to make these cookies for me when I was a little girl, and I love them just as much now as I did then.  When I was a child, I appreciated them for their yummy taste and for the fact that the cookie dough is THE most delicious cookie dough of all time.

Now that I'm a mom, I appreciate the fact that the dough is made ahead, kept in the fridge or freezer, and quickly sliced when I'm ready to serve up some nice warm cookies. Read more about how and why to make food ahead of time here in my post "When NOT to Make Dinner."   I'm also deeply thankful that if I want to sneak some of the dough out of the fridge, I won't get in trouble!  These are a real favorite with everyone who tries them - they are crispy, buttery, and light unlike traditional dense chewy oatmeal cookies.

For a cookie, these crisp little wonders are relatively healthy.  Butter and sugar make an appearance of course, but so do oatmeal and raisins and nuts.  You can sub out some of the white flour with white whole wheat to up the nutritional value even more.


Slice and Bake Oatmeal Crispies
Click HERE for a printer-friendly version.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C all purpose flour (or mix of all purpose and white whole wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 C quick or old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C raisins - golden raisins are prettier, but use regular if that's what you have!


DIRECTIONS:

1.  Cream butter and sugars.

2. Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.

3. Combine flour, salt, and soda.  Add to dough and mix well.

4. Mix oatmeal, pecans, and raisins into the dough.

5.  Taste the cookie dough.  I am NOT even kidding.  This cookie dough is amazing.  (If you are firmly in the anti-cookie-dough camp, you can skip this step and step six!)

6.  Call your children into the kitchen and let THEM taste the cookie dough.  They will think you are the best baker on earth.

7.  Place three large sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper on the counter and divide the dough into three equal portions, one on each sheet of paper. 

8.  Shape each portion of dough into a log about as big around as a silver dollar.  Wrap each log in the paper.  You may need to ignore children who are trying to persuade you to give them more cookie dough.  If needed, dismiss the children from the kitchen and help yourself to a bit more dough.

9.  At this point you need to decide if you'd like to refrigerate the dough and use it within the next several days or if you'd like to freeze it for later use.  You can always refrigerate some and freeze some.  If you are going to refrigerate it, just be sure that it's wrapped well with the ends of the paper tucked under.  The logs will fit nicely into a 2 gallon Ziplock but not a smaller one, but if you don't have a bag that big, don't worry.  If you are going to freeze the dough, wrap each log well in aluminum foil over the paper, then pop into the freezer.  The dough has to be refrigerated at least 6-8 hours before use.

10.  To bake, slice one or more logs into slices about 1/4" thick and place on a cookie sheet.  If the dough was frozen, allow it to thaw at least partially at room temp.  The cookies will spread to about double the size of the dough, so space them accordingly.   Bake 10-12 minutes at 375, remove to a rack to cool, and enjoy!!!

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, but if you increase the recipe, you'll want to increase the number of logs of dough you form or the logs will be unmanageable.  I usually put at least two of three logs in the fridge even if I freeze some, then just bake one log at a time.  This makes enough for everyone to have one or two warm cookies for dessert or a snack.  You can also bake part of a log at a time if you prefer.

I hope making this recipe (and sneaking into the dough) becomes as much of a tradition at your house as it has at mine!!

Blessings,
Kate

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