Saturday, November 17, 2012


Chewy Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies
Update:  "Normal" people halve this recipe.
But I've  never understood normal…..


dedicated to my Mom since we "discovered" this cookie together at the White Bear Lake Farmer's Market and went home and adapted her delicious oatmeal cookie recipe to duplicate it.
I think ours is even better.

This cookie is as divine as anything here on earth.
It speaks of Fall.
It cries out for the warm companionship of a mug of coffee, or hot cocoa, or cider...
It's flexible like that.
A fire in the fireplace,
some candles....
you and this cookie are going to be new best friends.
Especially if it's warm and right out of the oven.

(Not so) Fine Print:  Do not make this cookie unless you are absolutely, positively, 
without an ounce of remorse OK 
with gaining two pounds....or three...
depending on how many people you have
 to share the batch with.
I don't want to hear about your amazing willpower.
It will not stand.
No willpower can withstand

There are a few key ingredients that you need to have on hand that are non-negotiable.

The first is:

these babies.....
Kraft Premium Caramel Bits
Just remember BITS.
As in BITES...
As in how many BITES of dough you are going to eat!

Here's a closeup.
Walmart carries them, as do the grocery stores around here.
But here' s the thing....for SOME REASON....
they DON'T put them with the chocolate chips
or the butterscotch chips
or the baking chips of any other variety.

Talk to marketing, but they put them next to the marshmallows.
Must be a Kraft thing.

Alert! Alert!
Since I wrote the above text, I have been at Walmart and the bits are on sale, and they are even right next to the other chips!  $1.99
Stock up!

The second item you can't make these cookies without is
flakey salt.

It can be Morton's Course Kosher Salt like this:

Or like Pink Himilayan Frou Frou Something or Other.

BUT it has to be flakey.
And it has to be salt.

Finally, you will need....
Parchment Paper.

I know it adds to the cost.

But it won't work without it.

Trust me on this.


Here are all the ingredients:

Butter, Eggs, White Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Flour, Table Salt, Baking Soda, 
Old Fashioned Oats, Caramel Bits, Sprinkling Salt

Here we go!

Soften 4 sticks of butter.
I don't "do" margarine.

Add the white sugar.

Add the brown sugar.

And let 'er go!

Let it whip until it is completely creamy and almost fluffy.

Add in the four eggs and VANILLA (forgot to take a pic of that)

It is important to beat it until it is light and fluffy and
when you taste it (yes WHEN)
the sugar granules are pretty much dissolved.

While that's happening, measure out your flour...

Add the soda

and the regular salt.
Not yet.
That's for later.

There we go.
Give that a good stir and then start adding it to the creamed mixture.

Love these old fashioned bowls
  I got this one in "Harvest Gold" with my mom 
while bumming around the antique stores in Stillwater, MN.

But I still use it.
It makes me feel special.

Finally, in go the oats.
Now if all you have are the 1 minute oats, don't let that 
be a deal breaker.
But the old fashioned ones are better, 
and they make the cookies chewwwwwier. 
Chewier is better.

And here are the stars of the show.

Yummy little bits of goodness.

They're cute!
Stir them in.

I have a double oven that can run on the convection setting,
 and because I cook four pans at a time, I use that convection setting to make sure they cook evenly.

(The good news about being able to do four pans at a time is you get done really quickly...
you go get on facebook and forget about them all...
and then....
it's the bad news side of the story.)

375 degrees F conventional
360-365 degrees F if using the convection setting.

The pans are ready to go!

Scoop please....,

Oh wait.....throw some of that handy parchment paper down on your cookie sheets.
You will thank me later!!!!

There it is....test cookie (otherwise known as MINE)

Because I'm throwing in four pans at a time,
I have to doa test cookie 
or I'll have a nervous breakdown.

As it bakes, it will do this....

then this....
Now...the only tricky part...WHEN to take out of the oven????

You want to take them out of the oven right about ...

Just pull the parchment off of the cookie sheet and onto the counter.
(No washing the pans!)
It looks a tad doughy, but they keep on fact...

This is the same cookie a short while later!

Now while they are piping hot....on goes the salt.
How much?
Well....we like more rather than less around here,
but sprinkle a good amount on and then eat your test cookie and adjust accordingly.

Let them cool thoroughly before storing in the freezer (although these do keep better than most cookies at room temp.) and give away to all your friends.... soon as your fingers can handle it, grab your cup of coffee and...


Here's the recipe if you want to copy, paste and print it.

Chewy Salted Caramel Oatmeal Cookies
(This is a double recipe…because if a little is good then more is better……but you can halve it if you want.)

2 Cups (four sticks) butter
2 Cups brown sugar
2 Cups white sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Table Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
6 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 pkg. Kraft Caramel Bits
Sprinkling Salt such as Mortons Coarse Kosher Salt.
Parchment Paper

Cream butter and sugars.  Add in eggs and vanilla and cream until light.  Sift together the flour, table salt and soda.  Add to creamed mixture.  Stir in oatmeal.  Stir in Caramel Bits.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line pans with parchment.  Put heaping Tablespoons of dough on sheets and bake, approx. 8-10 minutes until golden brown with slightly lighter centers.  Slide parchment and cookies off the cookie sheets, sprinkle with the sprinkling salt and allow to cool.  Gently scoop off of the parchment paper when cookies have cooled.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Today We Fall Back....WAY BACK's the deal.
Right now it's November.
November 3rd to be exact. 
Tonight we "fall back" and get an extra hour of sleep, 
and outside my window
it looks like this:

But I have a problem, 
besides the fact that it looks like that outside.
You see, I haven't blogged...NOT ONCE...
since April.
That's 6 whole months for you mathematicians out there.

So if you would, please FALL WAY BACK and  turn back the pages of the calendar with me so that I can at least do a minimal job of recording a few highlights.

I've found some pictures to help you:

Tulips....yea...are  you feeling it?

Ahhh....'tis a lovely spring morning.....

The sunshine caresses softly the scented boughs...

...and plays hide and seek among the grasses....

Are you there?  Shall I stop?  I'll stop.

Anyway, last Spring, we celebrated this little guy:
("Oh those Arminians...")

Prayerful from the start.

Though by no means perfect.....

...but always cleans up well....

we had a big party!

I baked a few cookies....

...we threw up a tent...
...which was touch and go for awhile...

...supervision was necessary...

...but we got it done in the end....

...and we were so proud of this young man...

"He did a nice job..."

"Zach...are you going to speak next year??"

We are excited for his future....

...and enjoying his success...

Hey!  A kiss from Mom isn't that bad!
What a face.
Fun times.