Thursday, 27 September 2012

Back in the habit: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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oatmeal chocolate chip

Okay maybe not the habit, but dang it felt good to at least be back in a kitchen, even if it wasn't my own and I was using two toaster ovens as my ovens - it was still blissful.

I'd been itching to bake something ever since we landed in China, and for some reason oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were on my brain. Ingredients however are not the easiest to come across. Slowly over the last 4 or 5 weeks I've been collecting bits here and there. Unlike at home in Canada, I can't just hit my local grocer and expect to find staples/luxuries like white sugar, brown sugar, butter, flour and chocolate - you know, just about everything involved in cookie making. You want vanilla? You take a 20 minute bus ride to get it. Same goes for baking soda, and chocolate chips.... at least the oats were easy. They seem to be a common ingredient in Chinese breakfast so luckily I could find them everywhere.

While this was certainly a lesson in adaptation, as soon as I closed the door to the outside world, and sealed myself in the kitchen, I was hit with a wave of relaxed glee - it was my time and I was going to use it baking - awesome.

While cooking in such a pint-sized oven took some getting used to, luckily only one tray got singed, and the cookies themselves turned out to be a sweet and hearty treat.

Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside these skyrocketed past my expectations and became a fast favourite.  Rich in both flavour and texture they were a welcome change from the unusual, as proved by the record rate they disappeared!

While it's still in the 30's here in Shenzhen, it's full on autumn in Canada and what's better in autumn than some delicious, hearty cookies? Nothing, that's what. So if the temperature is dipping where you're from, or you just need a taste of home, I can't recommend these highly enough. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Sweet Treats and More

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats - I used whatever I could find, I couldn't understand the package anyway!
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 C or approx. 160 F
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Mix in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.
  5. Mix in the oats, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely - and ward off hungry visitors who happen to smell delicious treats being cooked in a communal kitchen!
  9. Enjoy!

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