More than a few times over the past month, I have mentioned the overflowing levels of dried blueberries in my fridge. In finding new ways in which to use them, I chanced upon a recipe for Oatmeal Cookies on PW. It felt like the perfect opportunity because I luuuuuuurve all kinds of Oatmeal cookies (and crisps and crumble and all that).
The best part about this recipe is that you can freeze the dough for ages and just whip it out, slice & bake. Viola!! You have a freshly baked batch of cookies in 15 minutes!
Here’s what I used:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (slightly softened)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1-1/2 cup flour/ maida
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups Oats (the quick cooking kind)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (you can use walnuts/ almonds or any other, but just ensure they’re chopped fine)
1 cup dried blueberries (you can use raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried blackberries or do away with fruit altogether)
Here’s how I made them:
First, I placed the sugars and the butter in a bowl.
Yes, I arranged the sugars separately, so you could see. And then I stared admiringly at the remaining block of butter (if you’re not Indian, you don’t understand our love affair with Amul butter. I’ll save the stories for another post!)
And then I beat the sugars and butter together…
And some more until well combined, and the “brown” sugar takes over the colour of the mix!
In another smaller bowl, I cracked open the eggs.
Added this to the sugar-butter mix…
Mixed it just enough to combine… No more beating after the sugar-butter stage…
In a plate, I sifted the flour, salt & baking soda. Then I added it to the egg-butter-sugar mix!
I mixed it just enough to combine… Initially, a LOT of flour landed all over the place… Yes, I need a larger mixing bowl. Will get on it, ASAP!!
Then it started coming together, like this…
Time to stop when it looked like this… (Remember, NO over-beating at this point. The key word is “combine” and not “beat”)
Next, I got out my super sized pack of oats…
Measured them out and added them to the bowl.
And then the pecans… I had a little less than I needed but I was too lazy to chop up walnuts as well. So I skimped. But please don’t do that. Nuts are essential to this cookie. The fruit you can do without, but not the nuts…
I compulsively added more but, really, there’s no need…
The whole bowl was full to the brim and the beater/ spatula were both becoming inconvenient. So I gave up and used my hand to combine this last bit, trying not to send oats, berries and nuts flying all over the kitchen!!
I continued till it all came together…
Then I laid out two big pieces of butter paper (you can use wax/ parchment paper, or if you can handle it, then clingfilm/ plastic wrap as well). Dividing the dough into 2 almost equal parts, I laid down half on 1 of the pieces of butter paper. I tried to shape it like a log, or as close to that shape as I could manage with the sticky, sticky, messy dough!
Then I rolled the butter paper around it as tightly as I could manage around the dough and sealed it…
I repeated the process with the other half and popped them in the freezer for an hour to chill and set, making them easier to handle.
After about 45 minutes, I turned on the oven to 150 C/ 350 F (bottom coil only) and allowed it to pre-heat. While that was on, I lined my cookie tray with butter paper and proceeded to un-wrap one log and slice it into approx 1/2 inch slices. (You need to use a good serrated knife for this part to slice as neatly as possible. I had a lot of trouble because the blueberries were not chopped fine and they caught on the knife and disrupted the even-ness of the slices!! Lesson learned – blueberries must be chopped fine, just like the nuts).
Then I laid around 10 on the cookie tray (I should have laid only about 7-8 because they expand and stick together!! But it didn’t do any serious/ lasting damage!)
My oven can only fit an 11-13″ tray at a time, so you need to modify the quantity that you can bake at a time according to the size of your oven. Just make sure that you leave a clear 2″ on all sides between the dough slices, else they will merge together…
I baked them for 12 minutes total, 9 minutes only bottom coil and for the last 3 minutes turned on the top coil as well, just to get a more even golden colour. This is how they looked…
The photo is actually from the second batch, because by then I had found the right timing for my oven. Original recipe said 10 mins, but that wasn’t ok for my oven. Allowing them to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes, I gently transferred them to my cooling rack to cool for another 15 minutes… If you skip this step and place them in a box straightaway, the trapped warmth will cause sogginess in the cookies and you’ll lose out on the “crunch”!
We consumed some right away with a glass of iced-coffee each! And stored away the rest in an airtight box.
1 log made about 16 (large) cookies. The other one is still in my freezer, ready to be baked tonight or tomorrow!! Like I said, I can have a fresh batch of cookies in 15 minutes, with the dough stored in the freezer!
PS – these are amazing crumbled over a couple of scoops of Frozen Mango Yoghurt!!
PPS – when I made the second log a few days later, I accidentally had both top & bottom coils on and in 11 mins, the cookies turned out much better than the previous log!