Monday, July 25, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Oatmeal Molasses Cookies

Page 64 in the old book / page 92 in the new book

I think I'm feeling a little let down by the oatmeal drop cookies in this book. Not one of them fits my idea of the perfect oatmeal cookie... thick, loaded with raisins (sorry Suzanne!), crunchy outside, moist and chewy inside. This week's cookies - Oatmeal Molasses Cookies - are no exception. Like the cookies from the last two weeks, they are thin and crunchy. In addition to the oats, they've got nuts and coconut in them and they are flavored with molasses and vanilla.

One thing I've been doing that I hadn't mentioned before, is using quick oats rather than the old fashioned rolled oats. I've done this mostly because I wanted to use what I had on hand, but I can't help but wonder if any of these cookies would have been better with the rolled oats. I tend to think not, since the weakness has been flavor rather than textural interest. But for you traditionalists... I do intend to use the old fashioned rolled oats in next week's cookies!

Suzanne is back from vacation, but Terri is stepping in for Phil, who is out with a cold. I neglected to collect Laura's comments, so I may be updating this post if I get them later. Here's the panel...

Update - I've added Laura's comments and recalculated the overall rating...

Suzanne: "My first question to Cathy when I heard the word 'oatmeal', was if there were raisins in them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out there were no raisins. This would be a great dunking cookie in coffee or milk since the cookie is crunchy. The walnuts are an added treat. Rating - 4.0"

Denny: "Another Rockwell favorite? Crunchy which I like. I also like the ingredients but really couldn't taste them. I guess you gotta like bland cookies to be a great artist. Rating - 3.0"

Terri: "A delicious mix of coconut, walnuts and molasses make this a flat, crunchy and sweet cookie. Reminds me of a granola bar type texture. Once again, delicious with coffee. Rating - 3.5"

Laura: "Tasty but a tad dry - probably because I was out on Monday and got it a day late. Rating - 3.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.4

Next week - Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Nutrition Facts


Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I normally like crisp, crunchy cookies, but did I tell you that I like my oatmeal cookies just like you like yours? Crisp outside, chewy inside with lots of raisins.

Mmmmmm. =P

Brian W said...

Have you thought about toasting the oatmeal before adding it to the cookies? A couple of minutes on a sheet pan in the oven or in a dry frying pan on the stovetop might add some more tasty goodness.

Nic said...

I like the idea of a crunchy dunking cookie, but I would think twice about making these from Denny's comment. I have (too often, I'm afraid) been lured by appealing ingredients whose flavor doesn't carry though to the final product. Good luck with next week's cookies, Cathy.

Cathy said...

Hi AG! Thanks - they were OK, just nothing special. Each of these recipes gave a choice of quick or old-fashioned rolled oats, so I would hope the chemistry wouldn't really be altered by choosing one over the other... but who knows?

Hi Reid! Maybe you did mention that once, but I definitely think of you as the guy who likes crunchy cookies!

Hi Brian! That's a really good idea. I'm generally following the recipes as written for this go-round, but I'll keep that in mind if I'm ever tempted to make one of these oatmeal cookies again. I think the only one that might fall into that category is the Norman Rockwell one, though there were several people in my office that really liked the oatmeal snickerdoodles. Maybe toasting the nuts would be a good idea too. I do think that I have a batch of bland walnuts at the moment.

Hi Nic! I have come to think of recipes like sheet music. In both cases I have trouble imagining the final product (music or cookie) based on reading the written version, so the outcome is usually a surprise for me. Which is fun - if it turns out OK! But I know what you mean when you talk about getting lured into making something based on the ingredients!

Anonymous said...

Do you use butter? I find when I use butter mine are flat and thin..try a combination of half margerine and half one needs to know......

Cathy said...

Yes, I'm afraid I am a true butter fiend... and of course, Maida Heatter's recipes all call for butter. My mom always baked with shortening or margarine, so I know what wonders shortening can do for a cookie. It doesn't add much flavorwise, but it sure does make for a beautiful cookie!

Anonymous said...

Yumm...oatmeal cookies! I'm sorry that these didn't turn out the way you'd hoped. Heck, if I'd been there they would have disappeared anyway since my second fave (to chocolate chips) is oatmeal! I think you might be on to something there with the rolled oats vs. quick oats. Certainly it would give more crunch I think.

I was scrolling down to catch up on some of your previous posts and my eye caught something about Blogging by Mail? What a great idea! And all those goodies that you received from the land down under! I'll have to look into this. I'd love to send something off from Italy. ;-)

One more thing, I'm glad that you're enjoying the read about our trip to Dordogne. Yep, the dog came along and I am anxious to get to that part of the story. That subject in itself requires a post. I tried to find articles written professionally or personally about traveling with dogs in France without much luck. Hopefully someone may find my adventures helpful, if not downright crazy. :-D


Cathy said...

Hi Rowena! I'm not so sure about the rolled oats now... I used them in next week's cookie and that one isn't very exciting either. Oh well, maybe there are some interesting oatmeal bar cookies in the next chapter!

There's going to be another Blogging by Mail sometime soon - keep an eye on Nic's blog, BakingSheet for updates on the next one. I think someone else will be hosting it, but I'm sure Nic will post the announcement when the time comes.

I am enjoying your travel posts and of course I always love seeing pics of your Maddie! I don't have a dog and wouldn't attempt to travel with my cat, but I have a friend who travels with her dog and finding places that will accomodate pets in the States is a little difficult. I'm curious to hear if it's less of a problem in Europe.

Cathy said...

Hi PHT - thanks so much! I'm sorry, I don't post the recipes from this book. The book is available from Jessica's Biscuit for $12.98 (click on the "old book" link below the picture), or there are used copies out there - I saw some for $2.95 at Alibris, or the book may be available in your library. The new book is more widely available, though a little more expensive.