My sweetheart is the baker in our house. I do the lion's share of the cooking, he the baking. It relaxes him. If he's had a bad day or is stressed, or bored or just wants to bake, he makes cookies. Usually it's chocolate chip (his favorite) but occasionally, I suppose if I've been good enough, he makes Oatmeal - my absolute favorite. Since he's been gone on tour now for several days and I've been very good, I decided to make these myself. I am currently reading 'The Secrets Of Baking" by Sherry Yard because I am very interested in the science of baking and cooking. After reading just a little, I can now tell you the difference between cookies that have butter melted prior to mixing and those that use 'softened' butter to cream into the ingredients. Thank goodness for my KitchenAid Mixer as it made short work of creaming the butter. I did choose to use butter in lieu of vegetable shortening. It cut back on (a little) fat and reduced the trans fat to zero. I also wanted to do the variation right away but chose not to for two reasons. One, I think it best to try the recipe as is before messing with it and two, I would have had to go to the store to get almond extract and it's snowing out there. I did, however use dried cranberries instead of raisins. I just like them better. Anyhow, the cookies are great! I trusted CD and pulled them out before they actually looked done so that they will be nice and chewy. They are. The recipe makes a TON so I'm taking several dozen to improv class with me today and let them eat them all. One thing though - the recipe says to mix the nuts and raisins with one cup of the oatmeal mixture....and then never says what to do with them. Roll the balls in it? Stir it in last? I emailed CD ( you can do that you know) to ask her but she's very busy so it may take awhile to get back to me. In the meantime, I was going to roll the balls in the mixture...and then that didn't make sense. So I just mixed it all in last. I hope that's what you wanted, CD because these bad boys turned out fantastic! I can't wait to share them with everyone.
UPDATE: CD wrote me back a mere three days after I emailed her for help. Here is what this fantastic woman said: " Dear Becky,
I am so glad to know you are enjoying and using Passionate V and having fun with it, and I do indeed consider you a friend not yet met. Yes, the oatmeal and raisins get stirred into the creamed mixture. And I will get on this and put it on the "House of Corrections" page on the PV website.
I remain grateful and delighted not only that the book is so much a part of your and your family's lives, but that you took the time to tell me. Very kind, and I hope you will love the cookies, too. Oh, and please feel free, if you like and only if you like, to write a reader review of the book on www.amazon.com and/or www.barnesandnoble.com --- when I'm browsing books I always believe my fellow readers more than the professional reviewers, though that may just be my own quirk.
Anyway, have a delicious, healthy, fun, interesting 2007.
Additionally, I have since tried the variation of the almonds and the apricots. Holy cow!! They are SO good. LOADS of people have told me they are the best cookies they've ever eaten - from my husband to the crossing guard I see on the way to work. (my husband likes the originals, she liked the variation). I really can't say enough about these cookies. YOU MUST TRY THEM YOURSELF!!