Double the oats for a pleasing cookie

The Associated PressNovember 27, 2013 

Many people would balk at the idea of eating holiday cookies for breakfast, but this recipe might make you reconsider.

These double-the-oats oatmeal cookies are so jammed with oats — making them tender and wonderfully chewy and rich — that I’ve been known to take them on vacation just so I can enjoy a familiar breakfast. Because if you could enjoy your morning bowl of oatmeal in the form of a cookie, why not?

The inspiration for this cookie actually began with my dislike of raisins. Most oatmeal cookies are packed with raisins, which usually turns me off. So I wanted to create my own take on this classic cookie.

I started with a basic cookie dough made with creamed butter, then added twice as many oats as a traditional cookie. I also substituted dried cherries for the raisins. The result was a good cookie, but it wasn’t a great cookie. I wanted to be able to taste the individual ingredients, and I wanted a crispier texture.

I was at loss until a trip to Houston unexpectedly gave me the answer. I was visiting a friend whose mom recently had sent him a tin of her oatmeal cookies. I tried one and wanted to eat the entire batch. I loved the texture and the light, clean taste. They were crisp and toothsome, everything I was looking for.

The secret? She used vegetable oil instead of butter.

At first, I thought this was odd, but then I realized that a lot of my favorite cakes were made with oil, not butter. As soon as I got home, I tested my recipe with oil and I could not believe the difference. My cookies had gone from good to great and I started baking them weekly.

Because I like to eat these cookies for breakfast with a cup of coffee, I bake them and keep them in the freezer so I have them on hand most of the time. I generally bake the cookies with dried cherries and pecans, which makes me equate them with eating a bowl of granola.

But during the holidays, I love making them with dark chocolate chips and walnuts. The addition of the rich chocolate makes them more decadent and takes them from a breakfast cookie to a special occasion cookie.

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