Cheap, wholesome and supereasy
By Susan Oppenheim
How does it happen that an entire family and their friends become cookie people?
That would be me, my two daughters, and a favourite tenant, just as an example.
What is interesting is how very different we all are in our approaches to cookie making. I do kitchen-sink cookies, the oversized ones, big and hearty, using up any goodies I may have stashed in a cupboard, at the back of the fridge, or in my freezer. I even recycle cookies and candies people gift me; I substitute ingredients or wrap cookie dough around items and then bake them. Why people give cookies to cookie people is odd but they do. Many a shortbread has found its way into a pie crust just as many a SKOR bar or candy has become the centre of a peanut butter surprise cookie.
My elder daughter, Aura, is an aficionado of classic French recipes and attempts to be as authentic as possible on this side of the Atlantic. For her mom-and-pop specialty shop, Ambrosia Pastry in Waterloo, presentation is as important as ingredients. They have loyal clients who line up frequently for unique offerings and she tempts us all with weekly photos.
My younger daughter is a cross between a scientist and a nutritionist. She has a well-established specialty vegan and kosher cookie business called New Moon Kitchen that supplies many stores around Toronto, including Whole Foods and Costco. Also, like her sister, she is very easy on the eye and these two beautiful young entrepreneurs get loads of press, buzz, and write-ups. Eden’s cookies are extremely family-friendly. It was thrilling when after receiving some in a TIFF swag bag one year, Cher ordered directly from her.
This career move to being a cookie mogul has also affected a tenant who lived with us when she first moved to Canada from Colombia. Her name is Cookie Martinez, and she has one of those cute container storefronts at Dundas and Bathurst.
She spends summers working the street festivals, pop-up markets, and anywhere people look for true Colombian recipes and goodies.
For this month’s Gleaner recipe, I decided cookies would be a good choice in the spring weather. Whether it be for a lunch bag, a travel bag, a health club workout bag or just picnic or park food, here is my favourite drop cookie. It’s cheap, wholesome, supereasy to make, and allows for creativity.
This recipe makes a lot of cookies. I like to make them large and allow an extra two minutes of baking time, checking the colour to be a little golden not brown.
I space them well apart on the cookie sheet as they spread, and I use parchment paper rather than grease the trays. I bake them in the centre of my oven.
Here is what you can substitute:
- Butter with golden Crisco
- Vanilla with almond flavouring, lemon, rum, whatever you find in the flavouring aisles
- For the stuff part: chocolate chips, raisins, nuts (pretoasted), coconut, cranberries, just make up the measurement
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
In a separate bowl mix well together:
- 3/4 cup white flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add creamed to dry ingredients with a food processor, mix master, by hand, whatever you have.
Add the stuff:
- 3 cups oats
- Stir in oats
- 1-1 1/2 cups “stuff”
I like either a fruity cookie or a chocolate nutty cookie.
Drop by double tablespoon on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet in the centre of the oven.
Bake 12-15 minutes.
Cool completely before removing from pans.
Susan can be contacted at email@example.com