Nixed-chip cookies

It’s getting cold outside, slipping quickly into single digits, and I just felt, as I sometimes do, like cookies were in order.

Many times in my life I have thought how perfect chocolate chip cookies can be when you leave out the chocolate chips, so when Joe suggested the same idea a few days ago, it was really only a matter of time before I hit the kitchen. I’ve actually made nixed-chip cookies before, but chocolate chip cookies are just one of those foods that offers an infinite number of slightly different recipes. And that’s why every time I make them, I do it a little differently. Here’s what I came up with today:

3/4 cup salted butter

1 3/4 cup brown sugar

Dampen the brown sugar with a teaspoon or so of water (damp, people, not swimming) and melt it a bit in the microwave (or, if you’re my off-grid friends, in that lovely yellow ceramic pot of yours). You don’t want to totally melt it. About halfway will do the trick. Pour that over the butter (which I also half-melted in the microwave because I’m too impatient to let it soften) and mix the two together until blended. If there are small chunks of brown sugar, all the better. They make lovely little gooey surprises.

1/2 cup egg beaters

2 tsp vanilla

Mix egg and vanilla into the sugar/butter until everything is one big brown puddle.

1/4 cup Scottish oatmeal

2 cups self rising flour (I think whole wheat pastry flour would work beautifully here, but that’s just not the sort of ingredient waiting in Joe’s cupboards for impromptu baking. Add 1 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder if you go the non-self-rising route. My mama taught me that life’s too short for anything but self-rising.)

Using a fork, blend flour and oatmeal into the other ingredients until just blended.

Drop onto parchment paper and bake 9 minutes, then remove from oven. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, except for the one you’ll steal immediately off the pan.

Happy chilly weather, my friends!

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