My Dad loves oatmeal cookies. His mother, Zola baked them for her brood.
When I was a teen, he often held meetings in our home and he would ask me to bake for the group. “Your mother’s on a diet, so would you make some oatmeal raisin cookies with walnuts?” was the exact request. Of course Mom was on a diet. She birthed 8 kids (ALL GIRLS!) and was always working to lose the baby fat.
I loved to bake and because girls generally love to please their fathers, I was delighted to whip up a batch of cookies for him. Years later, I sometimes mail him oatmeal raisin cookies for his birthday.
Dad is now 88 1/2. (The 1/2 year designation becomes important only when you’re younger than ten and older than 80.)
We were driving to Minnesota, my mother country, for Mother’s Day and I decided to bring up some fresh cookies for Dad. (Chocolates for Mom. Forget that diet!) To my frustration, I couldn’t find raisins in my cupboard, so I swapped out craisins and they were a tasty sub.
Mom bakes oatmeal cookies occasionally in the summers. She uses the recipe on the Quaker Oatmeal container and bakes only one pan at a time. She rolls the rest of the dough in wax paper and freezes it so she can slice and bake in the future. She also turns off the oven after the 8-10 minutes and leaves the pan in the oven another 20 minutes until they are brown and crisp. I love these as well. It changes the texture and I always think it adds to the flavor as well.
But I wanted the authentic taste of the chewy cookies, so brace yourself – I used an old fashioned recipe from Crisco – which results in a fluffier cookie than baking with butter. These are also fabulous with chocolate chips. Naturally, I pulled out some dough before the cinnamon went in to mix in a few chips.
3/4 cup Crisco – solid vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup craisins or raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease baking sheets.
In a mixing bowl, combine shortening, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
Add soda, salt and cinnamon and beat again.
Mix in flour and oats just until blended.
Stir in craisins and nuts.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets.
Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.
Note: if you want more flavor, add 1/4 tsp each: ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
Dad – and Mom – loved the cookies and I forgot to get a picture to prove it. But you’ll have to trust me on this. Bake some cookies for someone you love.