Oatmeal Raisin Bars

With our impending move imminent on the horizon, my next task (aside from not losing my mind) is to use up as much stock in the pantry as I can.

Operation throw-out-all-the junk-I’m-not-moving was a complete and total success – and quite frankly, I am giving myself a well-deserved pat on the back for being so organized and so productive this early in the game. The way things are progressing, it appears that my house may have sold much faster than I anticipated.

As in, the first people that looked at it put in an offer.

However, until there’s a signature on the bottom line (and the cash in the bank), I am not going to fret unnecessarily or alter the current course of action.

So ….. back to my plan. My freezer currently resembles a bachelor pad, which is a nice way of saying it contains ice….. and not much else….

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Well, that’s not entirely true. Now, residing on the shelf at precisely eye-level, is a batch of these exceptionally tasty, soft and chewy mmmmmm mmmmmm good cookie bars. Which, based on how easy they are to make (and consume), will definitely be made again using chocolate chips to appease the non-raisin eater in the house *Alexander*.

Of course, the fact that I have a 5 pound bag of oatmeal to use up is a contributing factor as well…..

Oatmeal Raisin Bars – adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two sides; spray foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface; cut into 16 bars.

Ranger Cookies – and where I’ve been..

As wonderful as it is to go away, it’s wonderful to be home. Especially after 3 planes, 15 hours of travel time, and a 9 hour time change.

What? Did I forget to tell you? Mi dispiace…… I was in Italy for 12 days.

** big grin **

Ahhhh…Venice, Taormina, Sorrento, Rome………. It was an epic, life changing adventure. How so? Let me count the ways:

Disconnecting myself and the posse from the internet/cell phones/twitter updates/Instagram/Snapchat (life change #1), pinpointing the exact cause of the majority of stress in my life - and how to change it (life change #2), the epiphany that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, there are people you will never understand/come to common ground with and/or get along with (life change #3).

I feel better than I have in months :)

In the meantime, though, I’ve conquered 7 loads of laundry, completely unpacked, and now, I have to pack up the posse for school. I feel for those two – they missed 9 days of school and will have a TON of makeup work. But….. they received a historical education (The Colosseum! The Vatican!) and culinary experiences (pizza overlooking the Sicilian coast!) that they could never ever experience in a classroom.

And that, coupled with the time they spent with their grandparents (who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!), is priceless.

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Ranger Cookies – adapted from serious eats

1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup corn flakes
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Adjust two oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture to bowl and beat until just combined.

Stir in cornflakes and chocolate chips. Drop dough by the rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets, leaving a few inches between each cookie. You should fit about 16 cookies on each sheet. Bake until golden, turning halfway through baking, about 12 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Oatmeal Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Although these cookies are ….. well…… technically “cookies”, I suppose, through some form of moral obligation, I shouldn’t label them as breakfast food.

However, let’s take a quick look at what goes into making them – we have oatmeal, eggs, and blueberries.

Yep – all the components of breakfast food.

Perfect. :)

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Oatmeal Blueberry Breakfast Cookies -adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Stir together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder , and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Gently stir in the blueberries. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies

The heat wave is finally over…. and somehow, in a sick, twisted form of reality, 101 degrees doesn’t feel too bad…

Crazy, I know….

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies – adapted from Lisa Yockelson

1 cup plus 2 tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (next time, I’ll use one stick)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup lightly crushed chex cereal
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar at medium speed until blended. Beat in the granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, in 2 additions. With a large wooden spoon, mix in the oats, chips and cereal. Cover the cookie dough and refrigerate for 1 hour, until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a rounded tablespoon, spoon mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, until golden and just set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

MWM – Dad’s Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Let the record indicate that I am glaringly aware of the fact that today is, according to my calendar at least, Tuesday.

Not Monday.

Tuesday.

So why am I posting Mondays With Mom on Tuesday?

Because yesterday went by in a blur and I realized my error this morning.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

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Dad’s Absolute Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – my mom’s recipe

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup milk (or buttermilk)
1 ¾ cups oatmeal
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In a small measuring cup, mix together the milk and vanilla and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the oatmeal, flour, baking soda and cinnamon.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk/ vanilla mixture in two additions, mixing just until combined. Stir in the raisins.

Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for approximately 13-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The cookies should be a light golden brown and the centers should be just set.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Oatmeal Raisin Wheat Bran Cookies

So get this one…I learned something very interesting about my father the other day…

No, no, no – I already know he is intellectually superior, generous to a fault and by far the most pragmatic person in the world..

I’m talking about something new that I learned the other night…..ready for it?

He doesn’t like crispy cookies.

Being the stupendous daughter that I am (notice I said stupendous, not stupid),  I made a fresh batch of oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert when he and The Queen Mother came over for dinner last week. Well, I should have known better than to try a new recipe on him, because he made “the face” – clearly expressing his displeasure of cookies that “were not like the ones your mother makes…..those are nice and soft… like little pillows …. you know, you could rest your head on them”…

It’s a cookie, Dad…not a sleeping apparatus……

Anyway, I quickly learned that he did not care for these at all, and therefore, they have been relegated to the bottom of the freezer – where they surely will be devoured one by one via Sabrina and I….

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Oatmeal Raisin Wheat Bran Cookies – adapted from everyday food

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs.all-purpose flour (personally I think it needs more flour, these spread a lot)
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in raisins. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely.Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Banana Pecan Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Every so often, I come across a recipe that sounds so unique and interesting to me, I am immediately compelled to try it.

Case in point:

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I’ve decided that these are best described as banana bread in cookie form – they are a perfect grab-and-go breakfast (you know, given my penchant for quick breads) – and of course, are infinitely adaptable to your whims and wants…

Banana Pecan Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies – adapted from everyday food

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Cowboy Cookies

I have come to the conclusion that cowboy cookies came about their name due to the fact that someone who was a cowboy (or someone who lived in Texas – same thing) decided that calling them “chocolate chip cookies with extra stuff” wasn’t catchy enough.

No matter, though – these are thick, chewy-crunchy, delicious and I really wish I had more of them stashed in the freezer…….

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Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies – adapted from Laura Bush

3 cups flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbs. vanilla
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a second bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Stir in the flour mixture, blending until just combined. Add the chips, oats, coconut, and pecans and stir until fully incorporated.
At this point, I form the cookies and chill them for several hours before I bake them.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to allow plenty of room between cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before placing on a cooling rack.

Monster Chocolate Oatmeal Krispies

While I was out walking today, two major events happened:

1. I covered 6 miles without even realizing it.

and

2. I had a fabulous, witty, introspective post written in my head. Which was great, except for one minor detail:

I can’t remember any of it now…..

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Monster Chocolate Oatmeal Krispies – adapted from serious eats

1 ½ cups + 4 tbs. all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup rice krispies (or crushed cornflakes, or whatever cereal you have)
1 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, and add the eggs one at a time. On low speed, add the flour mixture, then oatmeal, cereal and chocolate chips, mixing just until blended.

Form the cookies using a ¼ cup measure, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill the formed cookies for a few hours before baking.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Space the cookies at least 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the centers are set. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely

Urban Legend aka Neiman Marcus Cookies

I’m making a list and checking it twice……..

To see who has been naughty or nice? Not exactly.

For Christmas presents? Wrong again.

The envelope please…….dun dun dun……. the correct answer is:

Cookies!

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Each year at this time, I deliver boxes of cookies to the people and businesses that take care of me (and my dog, and my children) during the year. A sweet way to say “thank you”, as it were.

The trouble is, I have a tough time narrowing down exactly which cookies will be included in the boxes. I’m always inundated with ideas and options……..but these cookies, packed with oats and chocolate, somehow manage to make the cut every single time.

Because one thing I’ve learned over time, is that people tend to choose the cookies that are the simplest…..

Urban Legend aka Neiman Marcus Cookies

2 ½ cups oatmeal
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz. chocolate chips
4 oz. grated chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Grind oatmeal to a fine powder and mix with the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and both sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time until well blended. Mix in vanilla and chocolates. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until lightly browned and the center is set.

Yield – about three dozen cookies, depending on size.