experiments in cooking

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies taste a whole lot better when you remember to add the chocolate chips. Last week I had every intention of making them but forgot the chocolate, but this past Sunday I redeemed myself by making them correctly.

I used a “reduced fat” recipe from my Joy of Cooking book. I think the full fat version uses all butter, no vegetable oil (and also no corn syrup). All butter would have been yummy, but I think I need to guard myself from becoming too comfortable using large amounts of butter too often. If I ever need to go on a diet again, I’m going to need the discipline to put down the stick of butter.

You want to know what’s odd? I’ve been baking a few times a week for a couple of months now, and I’ve actually been losing a little weight. I think this is partly because I’ve been eating more home-cooked food and less processed food, and also because I’ve been eating so many apples. Whatever the reason, I can afford to eat a few cookies, especially ones including oatmeal.

I think it’s obvious to everyone who’s talked to me lately that I’ve been obsessed with oatmeal and with apples this fall. How could I not be? They’re both healthy and delicious. Hey, if any of you share my feelings for apples or oatmeal, send a comment my way. Maybe not everyone wants to hear about how much you love oatmeal, or why you sometimes drool over a good apple, but I want to hear.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Reduced Fat)
from The Joy of Cooking

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat cookie sheets with nonstick spray.

Whisk together thoroughly:

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Beat on medium speed until well blended:

¼ cup corn or canola oil

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup

1 tablespoon skim milk

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Stir into the batter:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (use reduced-fat chips if desired)

Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes so the oats can absorb some moisture. Stir in the flour mixture; the dough will be slightly soft. Drop the dough by heaping measuring tablespoonfuls onto the sheets, spacing about 2 ½ inches apart.

Bake 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are tinged with brown all over and the centers are just barely firm when lightly pressed, 7 to 10 minutes; be careful not to overbake. Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool. (I use wax paper instead of a rack.)

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