Great minds think alike, they say. I don't know if that is actually the explanation for fellow TMC writer Barrett and myself hitting on similar ideas for this edition of Is My Blog Burning, but that is what we did. Luckily we did not think exactly alike and so you have another variety of oatmeal cookie to virtually taste: Cran-Apple Oatmeal Cookies.
Actually, I had hoped to compare two different takes on the oatmeal cookie anyway: the standard family favourite recipe that I have been baking since about the age of nine is the Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies from the 1950s edition of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. In my mother's edition of the cookbook, the page with the recipe is easily found as it's covered with grease (fell on a greased cookie sheet as I recall) and bits of chocolate and grains of oatmeal. Not very hygenic but practical when your daughter calls you up at odd hours to ask you for the recipe as her 1980s edition of the Fanny Farmer left out this essential recipe. (Can you believe it??)
Unfortunately, my recipe database was the victim of recent computer purge and I did not get around to calling my mother for the recipe for this event or you would be treated to a total of three oatmeal cookie recipes. I'll have to save it for a better day. (The cookies are worth their own entry, believe me!)
That said, I am pretty pleased with this innovation on a standard oatmeal cookie. Some time ago, I bought dried cranberries from Sherwyn's health food store in Chicago and brought them back to Paris. They have been sitting in my cupboards waiting for a good idea to come along.
The same is true of the molasses I bought at the Loveless Cafe in Tennessee. I don't have much call to use molasses, but it seemed like such a good thing to buy from a place called the Loveless Cafe in Tennessee.
The addition of apples appealed to me because my favourite instant oatmeal is, has been and always will be Apple and Cinnamon.
So I adapted the following recipe from the Fanny Farmer (1980s edition) recipe for Cape Cod Oatmeal Cookies.
Cran-Apple Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 (115g) cup melted butter
1 Tbs molasses
1/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup dried cranberrries (mine were soaked in fruit juice before drying as a natural sweetener)
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt togetehr in a large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients. The dough will be extremely stiff (I broke a spoon!) but do not be tempted to add any more liquid as the apple will be adding more moisture to the dough.
Arrange by large spoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake about 12 minutes, until brown.
Note: you may be tempted (as I was) to remove the cookies as soon as they are a little brown because you like your cookies chewy. It's much better to leave them in until the tops of the cookies are evenly brown - the apple will ensure that they stay moist and chewy and if they are undercooked they will be extremely fragile. They will still be tasty, but not vey pretty to look at or easy to eat.
This is an adaptation I'll be keeping for later use: the apple and cinnamon and sharp cranberry flavours went beautifully together and were complimented nicely by the chewy oatmeal. And with the oatmeal and fresh fruit you can almost claim they are good for you!
(Sorry about the lack of photos but we are going through technical difficulties here in the Paris office of TMC and through a series of mishaps lost the photos I originally took and were unable to load new photos on the computers. Sigh. But Barrett's photo is big enough for the two of us, right??!)