Have I mentioned lately that I have the best mom ever? She’s kind, generous, and intuitive. I feel guilty that not everyone can have her in their life.
This current rush of appreciation is mostly selfish, I must admit, and motivated by the recent acquisition of Christmas presents. Not just any presents, mind you, I’m talkin’ cream of the crop here. I’m talking about The Bread Bible. Yessirree Bob, I have been coveting this compendium by the prolific Rose Levy Berenbaum for more than a year now. I have to pinch myself every time I see it sitting pretty on my kitchen table, emitting a grand heavenly glow.
She also bestowed Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook upon me. I knelt solemnly and received this tome graciously, like a peasant being knighted.
There were other wonderful gifts, too, like six two-quart mason jars that I’ve been wanting for my granola and assorted baking mixes, and Fallout: New Vegas (okay, so that was intended for my husband, but fortunately I’m a huge geek too…)
So essentially, my mom is awesome.
Speaking of awesome, I made a batch of Food Network’s Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and Oh. My. Gosh. Sure, the ingredients may speak of your average oatmeal raisin cookie, but they sing a far better scale. Notes of caramel and chocolate ring loud and true, and the salty kick lingers as a gentle reminder that you want to eat another one. The Food Network, though celebrity driven and lacking soul, still manages to dish out some decent recipes. These cookies almost make me forgive them for Sandra Lee…almost.
Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Food Network
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter over medium heat, cooking until it turns a deep golden brown. Cool. (You may refrigerate the butter to quicken this process, but be sure to bring it to room temperature for the next step.)
Combine the butter and both sugars, and beat until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla and both eggs until fully incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Slowly add this to the butter mixture. When batter is almost fully mixed, still with thick streaks of flour throughout, carefully fold in the raisins.
Chill the batter for 30 minutes to 1 hour, to help prevent spreading.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the baking sheet, about two inches apart.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.
“There are some people who have the quality of richness and joy in them and they communicate it to everything they touch. It is first of all a physical quality; then it is quality of the spirit.” Thomas Clayton Wolfe