For years, I kept my electric mixer standing in the back of a kitchen cabinet. To retrieve the mixer, I had to kneel on the ground, reach a dark corner, and drag the mixer forward without hitting or damaging anything. Retrieving the mixer was hard on my back and made me reluctant to use it. So I took the mixer out of the closet and put it on the counter.
I had a white mixer lid on hand and put it on the mixer to keep the bowls clean. Now I don’t even wear a cover. The mixer is next to the stove, handy and ready to go. For small jobs, I use a hand mixer. It’s in the original box in the front of a closet, again, where I can see it.
In many cultures, the holiday season is baking time. Home cooks get together and bake coffee cakes, fruitcakes, breads, scones, and cookies. Minnesotans like me bake a variety of cookies and trade cookies. Each guest brings several dozen cookies to exchange. After coffee and conversation, everyone has a tray of cookies to take home.
I love baking and have made dozens of cookie recipes. But this recipe is one of the easiest. You only need a bowl, a wooden spoon, a measuring cup and measuring spoons. Without mixer. The dough comes together in minutes and chills for at least an hour before baking. Since everyone in my family loves chocolate chips, that’s what I use. Shredded coconut or dried cranberries can be substituted for chocolate chips.
These cookies freeze well (we love them so much we eat them straight out of the freezer), but they don’t ship well. The thin fries are too brittle to send to a college student or friend. Also, family members will probably swallow the cookies and there won’t be any left. Children will enjoy making these cookies. Of course, the best part of baking is tasting the cookies – fresh, fragrant, and warm from the oven.
3/4 cup sifted plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 of teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (not steel cut or instant)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup of water
1. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Tear off a long strip of waxed paper and place it on the counter.
2. Using a wooden spoon, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Let cool one hour.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Drop teaspoon size dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between cookies.
6. Place pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
7. Let cookies rest 30 seconds before removing from pan. Let cool on wax paper.
8. Store cookies in an airtight container. This recipe makes about 45 cookies.