Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spicy Talk

I was making some oatmeal cookies today and remembered a story that an old friend Donna told me.  Another old friend, the gone and missed Amanda who knew that Donna did not like oatmeal cookies physically shoved one of my oatmeal cookies into Donna's mouth and ordered her to chew.  Donna realized that day that it wasn't oatmeal cookies she disliked, it was those traditional, dry versions that she had no use for.

My oatmeal cookies are just another version of traditional chocolate chip cookies, I don't like those thin ones with unpleasant textures myself.  Another thing that Donna liked was that I used more than just cinnamon to flavor the dough.  Cinnamon is great and very much called for in an oatmeal cookie, but there should be some other spicy notes in there too for a more rounded flavor.

Before the recipe, I would like to share a bit about how spices work and why this recipe adds the spice in a different place than most others.  Always remember that spices are dried, therefore all the moisture has been removed from them leaving an abundance of volatile oils behind.  Those oils are the flavor in the spice and open up much more readily in the company of fats.

This is why I put the spices into the creaming portion of the recipe, so that the spices meld with the fat from the butter and cream cheese for a well developed flavor.  You can still make the following recipe if you wish to only use butter, but I prefer the texture and taste of the cream cheese.

Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, SOFT
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, SOFT
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg if available
Place all ingredients in a bowl and cream together thoroughly (creaming is using the sharp sugar crystals to cut the butterfats) until the batter is a uniform light brown color with no little chunks of unincorporated fat.  In a separate bowl combine:
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Add the flour mixture to the batter in 2 - 3 additions, keeping the mixer at a lower speed (you have just added flour to liquid, all mixing from here will result in the flour creating long gluten strands that will make a cookie tough) just until the dough has come together.  Now add:
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cups of your choice of drops, raisins, chips, nuts
Mix just until the additions are fully incorporated; cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

To bake, drop the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets with a spoon (!) and bake at 375 degrees for 8 - 12 minutes, or until done.


  1. I have found another spice person - yay:) from an old lady to a young 'un hi - that receipe I have just got to try - my fav. spices and vanilla to enhance the flavour - brilliant - thanks:)

    Just got to work out what cup is in UK speak - I will:)

  2. I'm trying to work out which one of us is the young'un lol! Oh heck, we both are :) Good luck with the recipe, I will be guest posting on a UK site next week, so I guess I should work out some of the measurement conversions myself. Thanks Alberta.