There is a wide range of opinions about what defines a good oatmeal cookie. Chewy or crisp, thick or thin, raisins or no raisins, nuts or not nuts. I'm in the crisp, thin, nuts, no raisins camp.
In St. Louis, and certainly in our family, oatmeal cookies are defined by Dad's Original Scotch Oatmeal Cookies. They are a simple, delicious, thin and crispy cookie. This brand by a local St. Louis bakery is commonly served in big glass cookie jars on the counters at corner grocery stores and delis. We used to get them as we were checking out groceries at a little neighborhood store--the kind with a butcher (ours was named Stan) who knew our name and exactly what kind of meat we liked. The kind of store that let regular customers have an account and pay their grocery bill monthly. What my boys remember about this store is the big jar of Dad's Original Oatmeal Cookies by the cash register--a common treat on our way out the door.
Through the years, I tried many recipes in search of one that tasted like Dad's Originals. And, finally I found one in Cook's Illustrated magazine--no surprise there--it's one of my favorite cooking magazines. It was as close to Dad's Original as I'd ever found.
I couldn't resist the temptation to mess with this recipe just a bit. A few tweaks. The spirit of the original recipe remains (thin and crispy), but I switched the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour. This substitution doesn't always work without radically changing the taste and texture of the cookie, but in this case it tasted even better with the whole wheat pastry flour. I also added some walnuts, because I'm in the like-nuts-in-my-oatmeal-cookies camp. Walnuts are particularly nutritious. These can easily be omitted if you live in a different camp.
Did you know? Whole wheat pastry flour is a whole grain flour, but is softer and has a lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour. This often makes it a suitable substitute for all or part of the white flour in a recipe, while adding more nutrition. Whole wheat pastry flour is available at many grocery stores.
Throwing a little nutrition in with all that butter and sugar is my feeble attempt to rationalize eating cookies. Here's my line: "They're healthy! They have whole grain flour, whole oats, and walnuts in them--loaded with nutrition!" They also have lots of butter. Shhh. Don't tell.
In another post I show you how I also dip these oatmeal cookies in chocolate. You heard me. Chocolate. If there is a possible chocolate detour in a recipe, this girl will take it. This has nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with my chocolate addiction.
Back to today's recipe.
Here are the step-by-step photos for Whole Grain Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies.
First assemble the ingredients. Sugar, brown sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, white flour (oops, didn't use that), old fashioned rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, walnuts, vanilla, egg, salt, butter. (The chocolate chips are for the follow up recipe for chocolate dipped oatmeal cookies.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Put the butter and 2 sugars in a mixer bowl and cream it with an electric mixer. You want it light and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla, mix it in.
Gradually add the flour mixture in half cup increments. Mix into batter with each addition.
Gradually mix in the oats. Then mix in the nuts.
The dough is ready!
Use a 2 tablespoon scoop to put rounds of cookie dough on a baking sheet. If you don't have a scoop, roll the dough into balls with your hands. Space the dough balls about 2-1/2 inches apart. Flatten each one with your fingers to about 3/4" thick.
Prepare 2 baking sheets to bake at one time in the oven.
Bake for 14-16 minutes until they are lightly browned, crispy on the outside and slightly soft in the middle. Rotate pans half way through cooking time. Let cookies cool completely on the pans.
Enjoy your freshly baked, thin and crispy oatmeal cookies. Just like the good 'ol days eating Dad's Originals. You may need a glass of milk or cup of coffee to go with them.
Make sure you check out my post explaining how to dip these oatmeal cookies in chocolate for a delectable treat:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl, use mixer to cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until mixed. Gradually add the oats until everything is combined. Mix in the nuts. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to drop rounded portions of cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If you don't have a scoop, roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball with your hands.) Space cookie dough about 2-1/2 inches apart on baking sheet. Flatten them slightly with your fingers. Bake 2 sheets at a time, rotating and switching pans half way through cooking time. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy around edges, but still slightly soft in the middle. Cool completely on pans before removing.
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