Cookies with Mr. T: Scotch Oat Crunchies
Welcome back to another edition of Cookies with Mr. T! In today’s post we’ll be making the best cookie recipe from Gourmet Magazine for 1943, scotch oat crunchies. Given WWII, recipes abounded for using oats, and this cookie recipe is no exception. I think this one turned out much better than those honey refrigerator cookies from 1942.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
1 cup butter 1 cup light brown sugar 2 ½ cups pastry flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 ½ cups rolled oats ½ cup cold water 2 or 3 drops almond extract ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Cream butter until it is almost white; gradually add the light brown sugar and cream until the two are thoroughly blended. The editor helpfully notes that you should make sure the butter is softened. We do not own a microwave, which would probably best do the trick. I turned the oven on and sat a bowl with the butter near the oven vent, which softened it up well. I’ve learned in the past that the hand mixer doesn’t really blend butter well if it’s not softened at least somewhat, so make sure you follow that piece of editorial advice.
2. Combine the pastry flour (as usual, I used cake flour instead), baking powder, and salt. The directions say to sift twice into a dry mixing bowl. I don’t know anything about sifting twice, and, as I said in a previous post, I don’t own a sifter, so I just put it all in a bowl and whisked it for a while.
3. Once you’ve got that good and mixed up, stir in the oats. There are a lot of oats, and so you’ll basically end up with a bowl of oats coated with the dry mixture.
4. Add the almond and vanilla extracts to the water. Then, add the water and creamed butter alternately to the dry mixture. By alternately, I did half of one, stirred, then half the other, stirred, and then repeated. This is way too thick for the hand mixer, so stir it by hand. I stirred it with a wooden spoon. It’s a thick dough, and stirring it will be quite a workout, let me tell you.
5. The directions say to chill the dough for 25 minutes, but the editor says to chill it overnight. I got busy and ended up chilling it for two nights. When you take it out, you may want to give it time to warm up a bit. Being impatient, I ended up tearing off chunks and working them with my hands to soften them up. Then, roll the dough out on a floured surface. Put some flour on your hands to make it easier, and don’t be afraid of the flour, as you may even need to sprinkle some onto the dough itself. Then, roll it out with a (floured) rolling pin. The directions say you want it about 1/8 inch thick, but I just rolled it until it was pretty thin.
6. Preheat your oven to 350. Next, cut round cookies, two inches in diameter, from the rolled-out dough. I couldn’t find anything two inches in diameter, so I used a small glass as a cookie cutter, which resulted in cookies probably more like three inches in diameter. Place them on a greased cookie sheet (I just used parchment paper on the cookie sheet instead) and put them in the oven.
7. Crack open a drink while you wait. I went with a PBR this time, which was much better than that nasty-rita I had last time. The directions say to leave them in for 10 minutes, but I ended up having to leave mine in for more like 12 or 13 minutes, probably because mine were a little bigger. Basically, when I noticed the edges getting brown I took them out.
8. Enjoy! These cookies are pretty good. The recipe says to put jam or something similar on them, but I haven’t done that yet. They’re a bit nutty and have a somewhat crumbly texture. They don’t have a strong flavor, and so if you’re not into overly sweet snacks, you’ll definitely dig these.
That's it for this time. I'm really excited for next time, when we'll be baking cinnamon sugar crisps. Mmmmmm....