Riffs on an Oatmeal Cookie (with a nod to Quaker Oats)

Oatmeal Cookies at the Bronze Antler Bed & BreakfastEvery now and then a bed and breakfast guest is amazed at something we innkeepers take for granted, like fresh oatmeal cookies.  If you check into a Bend Oregon Bed and Breakfast, or a Portland Oregon Bed and Breakast, or just about any Bed and Breakfast in Oregon, you're likely to find some version of a bottomless cookie jar. 

Here's a riff on an oatmeal cookie, starting with the classic "Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies" recipe found on most every container of Quaker Oats.

At the Bronze Antler B&B, we usually double cookie recipes, drop the cookie dough by tablespoonful on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze them solid.  Then we transfer them into a freezer bag and hold them in the freezer until guests are arriving.  There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies greeting new guests during afternoon check-in time!

Bronze Antler Riff on an Oatmeal Cookie, with a nod to Quaker Oats
Makes about 8 dozen (plenty to freeze)

Ingredients:
4 sticks room temperature butter (2 cups total)
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
4 large eggs, cracked in a bowl, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract (or try orange extract for a different flavor)
3 cups (405 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup dried sliced almonds
6 cups uncooked oatmeal cereal (Quaker Oats is best)

Method:
1.  In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugars until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes.
2.  Add eggs and extract.  Beat well and scrape down sides as needed.
3.  Whisk or sift together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon.  Add to wet mixture on lower speed and mix until combined.
4.  Add almonds and cranberries and mix.  Gradually mix in oatmeal, ensuring that it is fully incorporated into the mixture but not overbeaten.
5.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment (or wax paper) lined baking sheet.  The cookies can be touching each other because they're going to be frozen.
6.  Freeze formed dough balls until firm, probably 2-3 hours.  Store in zippered plastic storage freezer bag until needed.

Baking:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Remove desired number of dough balls so that balls have at least 2 to 3 inches of space between them for spreading out while baking.
3.  Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet (or an ungreased cookie sheet).
3.  Bake on center rack of oven for 13 to 16 minutes.  Remove before they are very brown.
4.  Transfer to a cooling rack, put them in the dining room, and hope there'll be some left for the cookie jar!

A recent guest at our lodging in Oregon is a busy mother of two young children.  She was astounded at our cookies and asked for the recipe.  I told her to check the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast blog where she can find this recipe and other great cookie recipes.  If you type the word "recipe" into the search box at right, you'll find all the bed and breakfast recipes we've posted on the Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild blog.

Enjoy your cookies!

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