When I was growing up, my grandparents lived within easy driving distance of my home. My maternal grandpa and grandma, whom I have written about here before, lived 45 minutes away in the country. My dad’s parents lived around the outer belt in a different suburb of Columbus. I was very close to both of my grandmothers, but this is a food blog, and only my mom’s mom do I associate baking, cooking and gardening with, so she is brought up more often in this space. My other grandma played Scrabble and cracked jokes. She also shooed you out of the house when she was done visiting. But I digress. The point being I was lucky enough to have my grandparents relatively local.
I realized the other day that it was not just me and my siblings who were lucky. My mom was also lucky, because my grandmother came to visit every Tuesday (in my memory anyway–my mom says it was more like many Tuesdays) and spend the day with my mom. Now my parents live close to me, close enough even for day visits for birthday parties, etc, but not really close enough for regular day visits (2 hours each way). About a month ago I was wandering around the house bored, thinking about Sammy’s unexpected full day schedule, and it suddenly hit me. I want what my mom had.
I am not an alone person by nature. I loved school but what kept me out of a career in academia is the solitariness of it. My mom and I have had our ups and down–we are both very strong willed people– but she is one of my best friends and it just suddenly seemed so unfair that she had had Grandma visiting every Tuesday. So I called her and asked if she would find it too much driving to visit for a day or a day and a night more regularly?
Apparently she was just waiting for me to ask! Since then, we have cleaned together (thanks, Mom!), shopped together, went furniture hunting together… Yesterday she visited and barely saw my kids at all due to the timing of Halloween and some other appointments; I had to explain to Alex that sometimes Bauma (what my kids called her) visits to see Mommy, not them! It has been great fun and just the kick in the butt I have needed!
The first of these visits I baked these cookies, because I suspected she would love their old fashioned, buttery, caramelized chewy crispiness. I was right.
These cookies are based off a recipe I found in Nancy Baggett’s new Simply Sensational Cookies: Bright Fresh Flavors, Natural Colors & Easy, Streamlined Techniques, a fabulous new entry into the world of cookie cookbooks. This book distinguishes itself by focusing on the current trends in cookie baking–more natural ingredients, more contemporary flavor pairings and easier and faster recipes. I knew I wanted to make these cookies because I pretty much love any cookie with oats in it. I had just made those incredible Salted Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and I decided that browned butter could only improve these as well.
I was right again.
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1⅔ cups dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup mild honey
- ¼ t fine sea salt
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill extra thick oats)
- 1½ t baking powder
- 1¾ cups (220 g) AP flour
- good quality coarse sea salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Have all ingredients measured and ready before beginning.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. After it is melted, whisk the butter constantly over medium heat until it is nicely browned but not burnt.
- Turn off the heat and dump in the sugar, honey and fine sea salt. Mix until smooth with no lumps of brown sugar. Mix in the oats and baking powder. Let stand to cool for a few minutes.
- Stir the flour into the dough until evenly incorporated. Let the dough stand for 5 minutes to firm up. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1½ inches diameter), scoop mounds of cookie dough onto a baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt, to taste.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, until brown at the edges and darker in the middle. Watch carefully toward the end, when the browning becomes more rapid. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes and then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.