Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oatmeal cookies

I love oatmeal cookies.  Love.  I don't even like cookies very much, but I love oatmeal cookies.  Leave it to me to have a favorite cookie that is made of oatmeal, I mean, how old and boring can I get before I reach 30? 

So, I finally gave in and bought oatmeal to make oatmeal cookies (I have never bought oatmeal before - I love oatmeal cookies, but loathe actual oatmeal) and a free issue of Cooks Illustrated came with the recipe for the perfect oatmeal cookies. 

A side note on Cooks Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen.  I'm in love with them.  Love.  If anyone out there wants to get me a birthday, Christmas, or everyday gift, get me a subscription to that magazine.  It's the perfect thing to satisfy the nerd and cook in me.  They test and retest all their recipes until they find the "perfect" whatever-it-may-be. 

Needless to say, I was excited to try their oatmeal cookie recipe.  Alas, I did make some changes to it (they called for lots more chocolate chips than I would like and I omitted the nuts since I thought two additions to my beloved oatmeal cookies would be enough).

Here's the recipe:

Perfect Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (I used baby oats, if you can find them)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (their recipe called for sour cherries)
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet (depending on whether you like sweet or not) chocolate chunks (or chips)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened but not soft
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, mix oats, cranberries, and chocolate
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until combined, about a minute.
  5. Add egg and vanilla, beat on medium-low until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time, mix until combined at low speed.
  7. Gradually add oat/cranberry/chocolate mixture until incorporated.
  8. Use a spatula to make sure all flour is incorporated.  Be careful, the mixture will be thick, so use a sturdy spatula (I broke mine in the process of making these cookies).
  9. Roll the flour into 2 inch balls, press into 1inch thick and place onto cookie sheet. 
  10. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate pan front to back to ensure even cooking.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  11. Cookies are done when the edges are brown and the middle is soft.  They will look undercooked.  Take them out now.  Otherwise, you end up with hard, inedible cookies and no one likes that. 


Anyone who knows me well knows that I am obsessed with birds.  Not the actual animal (I actually can't stand birds as pets), but more bird motifs.  My daily bag has birds on it. . My daily necklace has a bird.  There are little birds all over my apartment.  But no real birds allowed.  Alas, no one told that to the bird that decided to pay my apartment a visit and leave its mark on my scrabble box.  I have no idea how long this bird has been in my apartment, all I know is that I just noticed it (and it's possible that it's been there for at least a few hours). 

After screaming little "eeks!" to myself, I gently guided the bird to the door (not without it hitting the mirrored closet doors once or twice, though). 

Monday, October 5, 2009


So, my neighbor is oh so wonderful and plays World of Warcraft on his computer day and night. I could care less about what my neighbor does in his free time (which apparently is any time of day). However, what I care about deeply is my sleep. And my sleep gets interrupted and delayed because of sounds of grenades and tanks and guns. Ah, yes, the exact sounds I want to hear when I fall asleep.

Being the nice person that I am, I go and knock on his door, thinking I'm going to nicely tell him to keep it down after a certain time at night, you know, like around 10pm - you know, cause I have to be at work at 6am. As I'm standing in the cold night, shivering my ass off in my pajamas, he answers the door, with not a hello, but "If you have a problem, just call the *bleeping* cops" and proceeds to shut it on me.

Now, I'm afraid that I will have to deal with the noise even louder, just to spite me. And he's kind of shocked me into anger, which I don't like feeling.

Alas, this is why I'm looking into buying a house (if I can come down with the down payment). No pesky neighbors playing computer games because they don't have a life.

Forgive me, I just had to vent.