Photo by Katya
Jen's summation of the charm of these cookies may have said it best, especially since she began with this diatribe: "I hate oatmeal cookies. I find them bland, boring, and they contain raisins, which I also hate." But, and it's a big but, "these oatmeal cookies are completely different. I love these!" They "have that buttery toffee like flavor of a good choc. chip cookie" plus "added texture and crunch from the granola." Orin described them as "crispy/chewy, soft/robust ... "loaded with the right amount of spice, raisins and chocolate. These are genius cookies! I can confidently say, "the quest for the perfect cookie is over!"
Now that is high praise. But of course, this being a group of opinionated bakers, not everyone called this "the perfect cookie." Poor Monica, for example. Although she freely admits that she is not a "big cookie fan," she swears that she "can appreciate a good one." In TBB cookie category, though, she's "batting 0 for 5." Her granola didn't get crunchy, and her cookies didn't get crisp. I hope she finds her cookie moxie soon! And Kim thinks she's just outgrown her former love for oatmeal cookies. She used to be wowed by "their chewy, sticky sweetness." Now she doesn't like them for--you'll never guess--"their chewy, sticky sweetness."
But even some who were neutral about the cookies themselves were crazy about the granola. Joan
loved the granola, even though she found the cookies a little "crumbly" and "hard to shape," and even though she approached the whole oatmeal cookie project "with a jaundiced eye," remembering all the times oatmeal had been put before her and eaten by the cat. Glori thought the granola was so good she "couldn't stop eating it when it came out of the oven." Kristina says she'll be "keeping the maple-walnut granola on hand" even when she's not making the cookies. Milagritos, who was so wrapped in baking she forgot to take pictures, also made a double batch of granola "half for breakfast baked longer and toastier."
Lois called the granola "dangerous" because you could eat it all in one sitting and her husband, Ed, said that the making oatmeal cookies with granola may be Rose's "best idea yet." Anna--our newest Alpha Baker--noticed that the recipe is similar to "Mrs. King's Irresistibles," in Rose's Christmas Cookies. Those cookies are made with unsweetened store-bought granola, and Anna, who has now made both kinds of cookies, declared that "homemade granola made all the difference. Jill summed it up by saying that the "granola alone" is worth the purchase price of the book.
In one of her comments, Vicki noted that you could play around a lot with this cookie while still maintaining the integrity of the original recipe. And there was a lot of playing around.
Vicki added orange oil to the "so-good" granola and turned her "yummy yummy" cookies into ice cream sandwiches. Hanaa used apple syrup instead of maple syrup, almonds instead of walnuts, and replaced the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips. She pronounced the granola "awesome" and thought the cookies were as good as her go-to recipe, which she'd already tweaked to make it "perfect."
Tony fell "absolutely in love" with both the granola and the cookies, but he also changed it quite a bit. He used a mixture of dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, blueberries and white raisins) that he macerated in orange oil and orange liqueur. He also added almonds and a few other spices.
There was a little bit of rebellion about the chocolate chips in the cookies, though, with Katya taking a stand that she just "doesn't hold with" chocolate in oatmeal cookies, although she also admits that oatmeal in chocolate chips is "a plus." Librarian and voracious reader Katya clearly knows all about foolish consistency and little minds. Jenn called the cookies "amazing"--"chewy and yummy" and ones she's make "again and again," but added that although she loves chocolate, she loves it "not so much in oatmeal cookies. Faithy didn't use chocolate chips, but instead made hers with Valrhona chocolate pearls. Served with her own foam-decorated latte, the cookies-with-pearls looked luxurious indeed.
Some disagreement arose about when these cookies were at their best. Patricia found that the cookies, "not quite an oatmeal, not quite a chocolate chip," overbake easily and are "best as a breakfast cookie" and "better a few days after baking. On the other hand, Nancy described the cookies as "crisp-chewy" that were "very good when freshly baked" but "lost some of its character" after a few days."
NEXT UP: Two fruity cakes. A cran-raspberry upside down cake that is Q&E, and a strawberry genoise shortcake that looks neither quick nor easy. I don't remember why I put these in tandem. Hopefully, they'll be different enough that you won't be grumbling under your breath. If you have a pretty Marianne basket weave pan, you can use it for the shortcake, but there are other options that don't require you to buy anything new.