Cookies are a personal thing. Everyone has their favorite and rarely do two people agree on which kind is best. When it comes to my preferences I know that my great-grandma Sarah had a little something to do with it.
She baked a mean oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Thick and chewy with a perfectly crispy edge and loads of oats. Luckily my great-grandmother didn’t need a special occasion to bake a batch of these delicious cookies and mail them to us. One glimpse of that unusually shaped package sitting in our battered green mailbox and I was grinning ear to ear. Great-grandma Sarah already had that reuse-recycle thing down. She would bake the cookies with Quaker Oats and then use the iconic red, white, and blue canister to package them. The canister was wrapped with brown paper and taped so diligently that even a determined mail carrier with a sweet tooth would have reconsidered snagging a few. I assumed my great-grandma was a genius. I had never seen a package that didn’t have four corners so I was pretty sure that she had created a new invention. It never occurred to me that she was just raised in an era when nothing was wasted and tight finances motivated ingenuity. Why buy a mailer or search for a box when you have a perfectly nice cardboard canister waiting to cradle a fresh batch of cookies, protecting them on their journey?
Although I have my memories to guide me, unfortunately I never got a copy of my great-grandma’s recipe. These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies have all the qualities that I came to associate with her “perfect” cookies. I hope that one day my great-grandchildren will race down to the mailbox, looking for a special delivery of these.
- 2 cups gluten-free certified oats
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (Hain Brand or homemade for corn-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark brown)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light tasting oil of choice
- 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (or butter or vegan margarine)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (homemade for corn-free) or the pod scrapings of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks or chips of choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, oats, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar (dry ingredients).
- Add the oil, shortening, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and mix thoroughly for 1-2 minutes on low speed. The dough will be thick and sticky. (If your dough is way too wet, feel free to add one or two more tablespoons of gf flour mix.)
- Add the chocolate chunks and mix slowly to distribute.
- Drop rounded scoops of dough (I use a 1.5 tablespoon spring loaded ice-cream/muffin scoop) onto prepared sheet pans.
- Bake on center rack in preheated oven for 11-12 minutes. The cookies’ edges will just be beginning to firm and the edges will be a golden color.
- Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.
- Yield: approximately 24 large cookies
- Storage: Gluten-free baked goods are best kept frozen and reheated as needed. After cooling, I store these cookies in heavy duty ziploc bags so that they are ready to grab anytime.