Homemade Sunshine

It is gloomy here.  Gloomy and gray and rainy and COLD.  It’s as though it’s March rather than May.  I mean, cold is all relative.  It’s New England so obviously we’re all in shorts and flip flops because it’s no longer negative ten.  But it’s cold for May.  And so cloudy.  For weeks now.  I mean, this is what it looks like on my morning jog:

I mean, pretty trees, pretty water, nice and green but….gray.  Gloomy.  Dark.  Dreary.  Yuck!

So, how to create sunshine?  Cookies, of course!  But easy cookies.  Nothing fussy.  Something you can just throw together and then enjoy.  A note:  it is important before you start to make sure that any small monsters that might be hanging around have something to do, other than hang on to your legs.

I find that a small tupperware filled with popcorn kernels works really well as a distraction.  It makes a good noise.  Yellow triangles work too.

Once you have your small monster under control, make these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (based on a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated).  Then you should bring them to all the people in your life who are lacking sunshine.  It will brighten their day. Plus, research suggests that helping others gives us a boost of our own.  See?  win-win!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Some people prefer raisins.  I do not.  Why use fruit when chocolate is available?

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups white flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats (not the instant oatmeal, not the steel cut/Irish oatmeal)

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, soft but not mushy

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 cup white sugar

1 package chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat.  (Why don’t I own silpat?)

In your mixer (don’t do it by hand, why expend the energy on this gray, gloomy day?), beat the butter until it’s soft and sort of fluffy.  Then add the sugars.

Cream the butter and sugar.  No, this does not involve cream.  It involves mixing until everything is all incorporated.  Like so:

Then add the eggs.  CI says to add them one at a time and to mix in between but CI and I disagree.  Throw them all in together and mix until it looks slightly curdled:

Next, add all the dry ingredients except the oatmeal.  Again, CI and I do not see eye to eye here- they want you to measure and mix the dry ingredients prior to adding them to the mixing bowl.  I say, bah, throw it all in and mix.  Then add the chocolate chips.

Mmmm.  I love raw cookie dough, salmonella be damned.  At this point, if you baked these, they’d be very thin and crispy and not quite a cookie.  So, this is when you add the oatmeal.  CI says to stir it in by hand.  I’m sure you can guess what I say to that.

These cookies are supposed to be big.  I used a cookie scoop to portion them out onto the paper.  CI says it will make about 18 large cookies.  I baked off 12 (6 on each sheet) and put the rest into the freezer for another time.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes.  Mine ended up slightly overbaked and so were more crunchy/crispy than chewy.  Let them cool for a few minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.  Try not to eat all of them immediately.

I brought a whole bunch to my friend J, at her office.  It was a nice way to brighten an otherwise gloomy day.  Plus, the baby got to play with her.  And got a short nap on the way which made her a much more pleasant child at dinner.

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6 thoughts on “Homemade Sunshine

  1. Can I have the cookies AND the monster? Please? I’ll be your best friend!!!! Please???

    Yah. Too desperate. I get that a lot.

    *sigh*

      • Well, it’s not like I have a lot left to offer…how’s about you give me the cookies AND the monster and then we figure it out? Huh? Huh? Huh? Pretty please?

      • Riiiight. You can come over, borrow one and eat the other. You make the call which is which!

  2. Oh man, what I would do for a few of these cookies stacked up next to my computer right now….

    By the way, I loved this line:

    “Some people prefer raisins. I do not.”

  3. Ooh, that’s just perfect…and I will sing: My beloved monster and me…we go everywhere together…

    Thanks!

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