1 cup (110 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (210 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups (260 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins or 1 cup white or dark chocolate chips (optional)
Oatmeal Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
To toast nuts: Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop into pieces.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until incorporated. Stir in the nuts, oats, and dried cranberries or chocolate chips.
For large cookies, use 1/4 cup of batter (I like to use an ice cream scoop) and space the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Then wet your hand and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers so they are about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. Bake the cookies for about 12 - 15 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges but still soft and a little wet in the centers. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Makes about 20 - 24 large cookies
Oatmeal cookies are a proverbial favorite with both kids and adults. This crisp and chewy cookie is loaded with oats, dried fruit, and chopped nuts. This recipe comes from Jane Rodmell's 'Best Summer Weekends Cookbook' and it's a real winner. She even tells us that we can make the batter ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator so we can make freshly baked cookies on demand.
There is always the question of what type of rolled oats to use in baking; old-fashioned or quick-cooking. Both start with oats that are cleaned, toasted, and hulled to become what we call oat groats. The difference between the two is in the thickness of the oats after the oat groats have been steamed and flattened. Old-fashioned rolled oats are thicker because to make quick-cooking rolled oats the oat groats are first cut into pieces before being steamed and flattened. Although they are usually interchangeable in recipes I do recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats in this recipe as I prefer their thicker texture and superior flavor.
As a side note; rolled oats were first produced in 1877 by The Quaker Mill Company and are known for their distinctive cardboard canister with its red, white and blue label. By 1884 the Quaker Mill Company began selling their product, calling it "Quaker Oats". Incidentally, Quaker Oats is said to have been not only the first packaged food in America but also the first product to be mass marketed in the United States. And speaking about Oatmeal Cookies. The first oatmeal cookie recipes contained just one half cup of oatmeal. The recipes that we see today, that are loaded with oats, are adaptations of a recipe first developed by The Quaker Oats Company during the Second World War. That recipe also used vegetable shortening instead of butter, which was in short supply. So if you see recipes today calling for shortening you now know where that originated