Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Six and a half years ago I was accepted to the graduate program at Brigham Young University. I was so grateful to be accepted--and so nervous. I was working full time with the most wonderful group of women at Gulf Coast Community College's Student Support Services TRiO program. I had become close friends with Robin, the support specialist, who was magic with ideas. My role was to organize her big imagination into manageable activities. Often times, it worked.The final months at Student Support Services are a blur of parties, food, activities, and laughter. I loved the students and student employees I worked with, many with whom I still keep contact. Every day was a good day at work.

In a program like Student Support Services, food becomes a big motivator. Students need a boost: how about a pizza party? Graduation party: we'll get in touch with Olive Garden! Birthdays, Christmas, breakfasts, Halloween, TRiO Day, and, of course, my sweet farewell party. Coworkers and students liked to share recipes. Glenda gave me the recipe for the now-famous asparagus polenta au-gratin that I am compelled to make every Thanksgiving and Easter. Judy gave me some amazing pie and cake recipes that have more butter and cream than I dare admit. Robin found loads of recipes for main dishes, sides, and desserts. I have a binder full of Gulf Coast recipes.

During those Gulf Coast days I would make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies every few weeks. I never felt guilty because the recipe has no butter and uses half whole wheat and half white flour. Sure, chocolate chips have their share of fat, but--for me--chocolate is a necessary ingredient.

When it was time to move back to Utah away from Florida, my dad flew 2500 miles just to drive four days across the country with my not-quite-three-year-old daughter and myself. I made a huge batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to take on the drive. My dad was addicted to those cookies. He still remembers them as fondly as our trip to the Gibson Factory.

Boo and Grandpa in Memphis 2007

Last week I was looking for a dessert to make for a funeral held at our church when I stumbled upon this recipe in my Gulf Coast recipe binder. I don't remember who gave me the original recipe, but this is my own variation. Hope you enjoy!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Nicole's perfected blend)

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white/granulate sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups old fashioned oats
1+ cup chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together water, applesauce, white and brown sugars, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat and white flours, salt, baking soda, and oats. Mix together wet and dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Makes three dozen small cookies.

*Alternatives: If you like peanut butter, use 2/3 cup milk chocolate chips and 2/3 cup peanut butter chips. If you like butterscotch, use 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2/3 cup butterscotch chips. If you'd rather have raisin cookies,omit the chocolate chips, add in a cup of raisins, and add a teaspoon of cinnamon.

1 comment:

  1. We'll have to make these with raisins the next time Grandpa Zorro is in town! Also, I love that Boo is holding bear, or as she used to call him "beer" in the photo.