My parents moved to the Berkshires this year. We now live in the same town, separated by about a mile. I'm really happy they're here, and it hasn't been difficult for us all (me and my husband and my mother and father) to coexist without intersecting too much. They're having fun exploring the Berkshires and getting to know their neighbors; I'm having fun eating my mom's cooking all the time again.
It's wonderful to share meals with them, but it's especially wonderful when my mom is cooking. She cooks instinctively and masterfully, and her recipes are consistently raved about. (I've shared some of them here before.) She planned and executed all the food for my wedding, from appetizers to dessert. Everyone was full and happy.
So, of course, she has some classic recipes that are big nostalgia hits for me, but are also objectively excellent. The oatmeal cookie recipe in this column is one of those. When I walk into my parents' new house and see these cookies in a jar on their kitchen island, I am filled with gratitude. I know they'll be perfect — slightly chewy inside, crunchy and sugary and crisp, a little hint of browned butter. They taste like an old ritual in a new place.
Makes around 20-25 cookies
My mom tells me this is based on the Silver Palate Cookbook recipe.
1 ½ sticks butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
3 cups oats (instant or regular, whatever)
1 cup raisins or nuts (or both, whatever)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet (if you have two you can also do two at a time). Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix flour, cinnamon and baking soda, then add to wet ingredients until well-mixed. Add oats and nuts/raisins and mix well.
Form balls that are about half the size of a golf ball, and place on cookie sheets two inches apart. They'll spread and get crispy. Bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are set, but centers are still slightly soft. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes.