florence reardon’s oatmeal spice cookies

Published July 2, 2013 by lisaolisa

I call these sacred oatmeal spice cookies because they were the only thing I knew that pleased my father besides driving sports cars really fast, flying jets really fast, and drinking beer really fast.

Who’s Flo? Someone my father’s mother knew. His mom used to bake these for him. She also baked really good white bread and was a cold bitch.

Preheat your oven to the most pedestrian of oven temperatures, 350°

Collect these ingredients:

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup shortening or butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar or Splenda from that bag you bought at Costco and never used
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached or bleached white flour, whatever
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped finely  (I usually chop them mediumly)
  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats, such as Quaker — not cubicle instant or Martha Stewart steel cut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I usually double this)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I usually double this)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (not powder — these cookies are F-L-A-T)

Combine them thusly:

  1. Cream shortening and butter until fluffy.
  2. Separately, whisk together eggs, vanilla, spices, and baking soda till mixed.
  3. Beat the egg mixture into the shortening mixture.
  4. Separately (again — you will wash a lot of bowls), sift the flour, and then measure it.
  5. Mix the flour, a little at a time, into the nearly-everything mixture.
  6. Fold in the nuts.
  7. Fold in the oats.
  8. Make a lifestyle choice: bake now or bake later?

If you want to bake now:

  1. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto parchment- or shortening-covered cookie sheets.
  2. Bake for about 8 minutes, then check for doneness.
  3. Remove cookies from the sheet, and cool them on a wire rack. If you leave them on the sheet, they’ll continue to cook. Is this what you want? Sometimes, yes. But if the cookies are the perfect crispiness when you take them out of the oven, you do not want this.

If you want to bake later:

  1. Divide dough in half.
  2. On waxed paper, which is so old school you might not have, but was the only thing we had at the time to wrap our bologna sandwiches for our lunch boxes, shape into two rectangular logs.
  3. Wrap ’em up, secure with tape, and toss in the freezer, laying them flat somehow, like on a Tofurkey box.
  4. Tick tock, tick tock, Clarice. Time goes by and the cookies await. HOW CAN YOU STAND IT? You can freeze until the Apocalypse, but the longer the dough is in the freezer, the more it tastes like freezer.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, disrobe the logs, cut widthwise into quarter-inch chunks, and bake as described previously, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Play with your oven settings till you like the results. If you use a convection setting, babysit at the 8-minute mark; they go from almost done to unpleasantly overdone in a flash.

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