Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Day 19

When I think of comfort foods, desserts always come to mind. And, what better dessert than a warm cookie with some hot tea? Even more comforting is a cookie filled with hearty oatmeal and sweet white chocolate chips. 

Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2013
I make these cookies often, as they are the perfect dessert in our children’s lunch bags. They are also ideal for company because they last a week or more, and they can be served to guests who stop by for coffee and conversation. 

Truly, this recipe is easy and delicious, and I often vary it to suit my mood. For example, if I want to serve the cookies as a brunch accompaniment, I serve them with a store bought cranberry chutney, as shown in the picture. For a more decadent occasion, I will sometimes add white chocolate, butterscotch, and milk chocolate chips to the batter instead of white chips only. This recipe is also delicious with walnuts and cranberries. The possibilities are many, and the cookies are delicious and reliable every time. 

Finding a trustworthy recipe for cookies isn’t always easy. I have seen this one repeated on websites and in cookbooks for years, though.  Originally, I saw it in Southern Living magazine, I believe. Baking the cookies a bit longer allows for a crumbly, crunchy cookie; whereas, baking for the shortest time results in a chewy, soft cookie. It’s really up to you. 

Thinking about cookies and coffee and friends visiting makes me nostalgic for a time when people visited more than we do today. Nowadays, everyone sends e-mails and texts rather than having face-to-face interactions, and the results we are reaping are not favorable. Our kids don’t know how to behave with their friends or how to confront and approach each other appropriately. It’s too easy to accept and decline offers these days, never having to speak a word to anyone. It really makes me sad, to tell the truth.

When I was a girl, I remember visiting my parents’ friends and my relatives on Sunday afternoons, often unannounced. We’d have guests stop by for an impromptu visit too. Although it wasn’t always convenient, there was something really special about both welcoming and feeling welcome within the community. 

On Sunday afternoons, as a very young child, I would visit my great-grandparents on my mother’s side.  My father tells me that I would stand on the floor of his Ford pick-up truck, hands on the dashboard, eager to visit Grandma and Grandpa Dawson. This was, of course, before the seatbelt laws, and Daddy says that I was so excited, jabbering away to my mom and to him. Interestingly, despite being so young, I have very vivid memories of those visits. Grandma Dawson was a wonderful cook and baker, and she was also such a gracious hostess. I’d jump from the truck and run to hug Grandpa Dawson who waited on the front porch for our routine arrival. 

My great-grandmother would greet us with homemade chocolate cake and delicious canned pickles, a favorite combination in the South. I’d sit at her Formica kitchen table, enjoying the treats she prepared, while my family visited on the porch. Our visits would be too brief, but always pleasant, and they are some of the best memories of my life. 

Although these white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies aren’t quite the same as the chocolate cake and pickles of my childhood, the idea of sharing them with friends and relatives who visit holds the same appeal. Finding ways to be more personal with our communications and interactions is essential in our technologically advanced world, and I can’t think of any better way to start than by inviting someone you love to join you for a hot drink and some homemade cookies. I hope you like them. 

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups  uncooked oats
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on pan.

With an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth, then gradually add brown sugar and white sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating each only until the yellow of each disappears in the batter. Add vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the oats, white chocolate chips and pecans. 

Drop by tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. 

Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

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