Ken’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

     We were on the way to Estes Park, Colo. with the Brown’s. Ken had made a batch of these cookies for the 4th of July celebration that we were attending. But, he made the mistake of offering us a sample about half way through our road trip and that is all I could think about during the rest of the way to Colorado!
Actually, that’s not totally true as I began to think about how I was going to talk him into being the first male to appear in my monthly newspaper cooking column that features Dickinsion County cooks. Well after lots of arm-twisting, he agreed and his article was all about his speciality – cookies!
     By the way, Ken Brown, long-time principal at Abilene High School, was the one who hired me to teach Home Economics way back when.

Ken’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies    Yield:   3 1/2 dozen (3”) cookies  -- using a 1 tablespoon scoop of raw dough
1 cup margarine (2 sticks) or butter-flavored Crisco® (1 either use all butter or 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of butter-flavored Crisco®)
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups quick oats (uncooked) (I have used old-fashioned)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.     Preheat oven to 350°.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; spray lightly with pan release.
2.     Using an electric mixer, beat margarine and peanut butter until smooth;  add sugar, eggs and vanilla.
3.     Add remaining ingredients and mix well. (Since I use butter I like to chill the dough at this point.)
4.     Scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheet – about 9 to 12 cookies per sheet. (I use the bottom of a glass, that has been dipped in flour,  to lightly flatten the cookies at this point.)
5.     Bake 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on both the top and bottom. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Our niece, Erin, calls Uncle Barry the "Cookie Monster". Here he is in action - ready to devour more than his share of Ken's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies!
Cookie Tips:
·      TERMINOLOGY.  “Creaming” is the process of mixing the the fat and sugar until the mixture becomes light-colored, smooth and fluffy.  This step incorporates air into the batter and, along with the baking powder or soda, acts as a leavening or rising agent.
·      FATS. Most recipes work best if the fat is at room temperature. Shortening, margarine or butter are generally the fats used in cookies.  Shortening and margarine are fairly heat-stable so they will help cookies keep their original unbaked shape.  Butter, on the other hand, melts at a much lower temperature so cookies made with it will tend to spread out.  The amount of fat also affects cookies -- a recipe using a high proportion of fat results in flat, chewy or crisp cookies; less fat results in puffier and more cake-like cookies.
·      MIXING. Avoid overmixing the dough.  Once the dry and wet ingredients are combined, mix until just combined and no longer. 
·      SHAPING.  Be sure cookies are all the same size and shape.  Small ones will burn before the other ones are done.
·      COOKIE SHEETS.  Select a bright cookie sheet.  If using a Teflon or dull sheet, reduce the heat or the baking time slightly.  (Bright cookie sheets reflect heat whereas, dull sheets absorb heat often causing the cookies to brown too quickly.  Use a cookie sheet that is small enough to allow the air to circulate around the sides of pan so that cookies will not burn on the bottom before they are brown on the top.  Also remember, cookie dough will melt and spread on a hot baking sheet so have a second cool sheet for the next batch.
·      PLACEMENT IN OVEN.  Bake cookies in the center of the oven.  Often it is best to bake only one sheet at a time to allow for uniform heat circulation and browning.  If two cookie sheets are placed in the oven at the same time, they should be placed far enough apart to allow for even heat circulation.  Or, rotate trays during baking to insure even heat distribution.
·      BAKING TIME.  Check as soon as minimum baking time is up. 
·      STORAGE.  Avoid stacking cookies while still hot or they may stick together.  Avoid storing different kinds of cookies together.  Place crisp, thin cookies in a container with a loose cover.  Soft cookies keep best in an air-tight container with a tight cover. 

No comments:

Post a Comment