I spent a glorious 4 days at home for Christmas, which was the longest I’ve been home since I don’t know when. It was filled with food and old friends. Oh, and family. Plenty of family. More on them later.
Making Christmas latkes is becoming an annual tradition for SCL and me. I was going to wimp out and roast the potatoes, but how boring would that have been? These don’t take too much prep and were the only food I cooked that involved any kind of hands-on time.
Thank goodness I didn’t wimp out. I guess when you only eat latkes once a year, you tend to forget how good they are. When they’re freshly fried, there is nothing better. How there is that much flavor in something made of potatoes, onions, eggs and flour baffles me. But I’m not here to ask questions, I’m here for the food. These ruined my appetite for dinner completely (which was fine, as my main dish was lackluster), yet I do not regret consuming five of them in the slightest.
Back to the family part of this post. When I come home I’m not just there to cook the holiday meal. I’m there to sustain my family through any number of days. Given some leftover roasted chicken, I decided we would have chicken and dumplings for dinner on 12/27. Here’s what went down.
Pops: What’s for dinner?
Jennie: I’m making chicken and dumplings.
Pops: Oh. pauses awkwardly Do we have any noodles?
Jennie: Are you suggesting I make chicken noodle soup?
Pops: Well, I’m not really one for chicken and dumplings.
So I winged it (wung it?).
I sauteed some mirepoix, which wasn’t mirepoix at all because we didn’t have celery,
added turmeric, making the soup neon yellow, and looking better every minute,
A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a bay leaf, because shouldn’t all soup have a bay leaf? I had a soup.
It wasn’t memorable. But it made my pappy happy.
Fast forward to the next evening. All my high school friends were coming over for a big ol’ reunion. And what’s a big ol’ reunion without some cookies? We had all but finished our Christmas desserts (hard to believe, but true), and something classic was in order. These girls are classics. Cue, Mommykins (enters, stage right).
Mommykins: Oooh, are you making cookies?
Jennie: Yeah, my friends are coming over.
Mommykins: What kind are you making, bunny?
Jennie: Chocolate chip.
Mommykins: Do we have any oats?
Jennie: Is that your way of saying you want oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?
At least she’s honest. And thus, I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Which were worthy of note.
When I set out to make cookies for my friends, my intentions were not to make anything blog-worthy. Rather, I had noticed two bags of chocolate chips in the pantry, and cookies seemed like just the right vehicle for said chips. When I opened the container of oats, the folks at Quaker would only offer me a recipe for oatmeal raisin cookies. So I swapped out raisins for chocolate chips (though I was a bit more heavy-handed with the chocolate than Quaker wanted me to be with the raisins) and was more than happy with the results. Because I kept the cinnamon. Which adds a hint of something unexpected. I did not chill the dough before I baked these, because this was going to be old-school baking, of the, “if I knew you were comin’ I’d-a baked a cake” variety, as opposed to blog-baking, of the, “oh-my-gosh a photo of these is going out to the world and I hope they look slightly appetizing” variety. So these cookies are flat. And you know what? They still taste wonderful. Just throwing that out there.
You will need:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 C packed brown sugar
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 C uncooked oats, quick or old-fashioned (Quaker calls for 3C, which might make the cookies a little less flat as well. But I like a pretty serious chocolate-oatmeal ratio, so I dialed back.)
- 2 C chocolate chips (Quaker calls for 1 measly cup of raisins. I mean, sure, if you’re putting dried fruit in your cookies, that’s find. But I’m making something with chocolate and that simply will not do.)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, beating until each is incorporated.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then, add slowly to the butter mixture. Continue to beat until the ingredients are incorporated.
Using a spatula, mix in the oats and chocolate chips until everything in the dough is thoroughly combined. This is the point where you could chill the dough. That way, thanks to chemistry (which I almost failed in high school), your cookies would hold their shape more when baking. But that would delay gratification. And sometimes that’s no good. So you could also just start scooping, by rounded teaspoon or cookie scoop, onto your parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Eat one while it’s warm for me.