For years, I stored my stand electric mixer in the back of a kitchen cupboard. To retrieve the mixer, I had to kneel on the floor, reach into a dark corner, and drag the mixer forward without hitting or damaging anything. Retrieving the mixer was hard on my back, and made me reluctant to use it. So I took the mixer out of the cupboard and set it on the counter.
I had a white mixer cover on hand, and put it on the mixer to keep the bowls clean. Now I don’t even use a cover. The mixer is by the stove, handy and ready for work. For small jobs, I use a hand-held mixer. It’s in the original box at the front of a cupboard, again, where I can see it.
In many cultures, holiday time is baking time. Home cooks get together and bake coffee cakes, fruit cakes, breads, buns, and cookies. Minnesotans like me bake a variety of cookies and have cookie exchanges. Each guest brings several dozen cookies to swap. After coffee and conversation, everyone has a platter of cookies to take home.
I love to bake and have made dozens of cookie recipes. But this recipe is one of the easiest. You just need a bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cup, and measuring spoons. No mixer. The dough comes together in minutes and is chilled for at least an hour before baking. Because everyone in my family loves chocolate chips, that’s what I use. Shredded coconut or dried cranberries may be substituted for chocolate chips.
These cookies freeze well (we love them so much we eat them right from the freezer), but they don’t ship well. The thin crisps are too fragile to send to a college student or friend. Besides, family members will probably gobble up the cookies and there won’t be any left. Kids will enjoy making these cookies. Of course, the best part of baking is tasting cookies–fresh, fragrant, and warm from the oven.
3/4 cup pre-sifted, regular flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (not steel-cut or instant)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Tear off a long strip of wax paper and lay it on the counter.
2. Using a wooden spoon, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Chill one hour.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Drop teaspoon-size dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving two inches between cookies.
6. Set pan on middle oven rack and bake 10-12 minutes.
7. Let cookies rest 30 seconds before removing from pan. Cool on wax paper.
8. Store cookies in an air-tight container. This recipe makes about 45 cookies.