October 1, 2016
Today I have a sweet tooth. For those unfamiliar with the term “sweet tooth,” a person with a sweet tooth craves something sweet. It’s not a craving that goes away if you try to ignore it. It won’t leave even if you try to deny it by eating protein, fat, and vegetable carbs. It is something only cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, or pastries will satisfy.
My mom always said my dad had the biggest sweet tooth she had ever seen. He ate something sweet every day he lived. Most days he ate a bowl of ice cream just before bed. He was always slim and in excellent health. I think that not only what we eat, but also how much we eat may determine our weight. He ate very little “real food” but loved his big bowls of late night ice cream. Then again, maybe he was just outside the bell curve!
I took after daddy in that I, too, have an enormous sweet tooth. To keep me from getting fat, mom never required that I finish all the food on my plate before having dessert. She knew that my sweets craving couldn’t be satisfied with “real food” and that I would eat whatever was necessary to get to dessert. She always let me eat a bite or two of dessert first. I am thankful for that.
I am sure mom didn’t coin the term “sweet tooth,” but she did have lots of sayings. She used to say that women “clicked around” in high heels. One day I came into the kitchen, and she was going at the counter with a fly swatter. She said ants were marching across the counter like “little soldiers.” She had colorful language, to say the least. She also had this fantastic pair of bright red spike heels tucked away in the cedar chest at the foot of her and daddy’s bed. She kept them pristine by wrapping them in tissue paper and housing them in their original shoe box. They were resplendent in their perfection. She only wore them on special occasions. She would don her girdle and stockings, put on her slip and dress, and the last thing she would do was take the heels from their perfect cushion of tissue paper, unwrap them lovingly and slip her feet into them. After an overall review of her outfit (front and back) in the big full length mirror hanging on the back of the bedroom door, she would announce she was ready to go. I miss her.
Today I am baking my Almond Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies. They are salty, sweet, dense, delicious, and tempting so I am only making half of the recipe. I don’t want too many leftovers because every time I walk by the dish of them sitting on the counter, I will be tempted to eat one or two. I tell myself that they are somewhat good for me because they have nuts, oatmeal, and cranberries in them. However, I know the truth—that the sugar and butter negate any nutrition that might be found in the ingredients mentioned above—that’s why I am only making half the recipe.
I first posted this recipe on my former website that is now defunct. It was a hit then, and I think it will gain a new following here. I would call these cookies universal pleasers, but they contain nuts and nuts can be a problem for some folks. If you don’t have nut allergies, though, they are the ticket to satisfy even the most monstrous sweet tooth for any and all ages!
Almond Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Preheat oven to 325o F
2 sticks salted butter – melted
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups crushed toasted salted almonds
2-1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt (Add a skotch more if you are using unsalted butter and unsalted nuts)
1-1/2 cups Dried Cranberries
Here’s all the ingredients for half a batch, except the salt (I forgot to include it in the photo.)Step 1
Preheat the oven to 325o F
Grind the 1-1/2 cups roasted salted almonds in a food processor (or put them in a plastic bag and beat them to death with a rolling pin.) and set them aside.
Melt two sticks salted butter in the microwave (I can never remember to set it out to get to room temperature.)
Add 1-1/4 cup brown sugar and the 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the melted butter and whisk until well blended.
Add the two eggs and whisk until smooth. Make sure the butter/sugar mixture is cool so it doesn't scramble the eggs.
Add the 1-1/2 cups crushed toasted salted almonds, the1/2 cup flour, 1-1/2 tsp baking powder, and salt. Switch to a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix well.
Add the vanilla and mix well.
Here's what the mixture looks like so far (I haven't mixed in the vanilla yet):
Add 2-1/2 cups quick oats and 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries and mix.
Scoop the dough out onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets using a 1-3/4 inch scoop. The cookies should just hold their shape. I patted mine down with wet fingers a tiny bit but you don't have to if you don't want to. They will just be a bit taller if you don't do it.
Bake at 325 F for 12 – 15 minutes. Edges should only slightly be brown.
*Remember our most important safety rule – use potholders when putting anything into or out of the oven. Us non-chefs can’t be too careful when working in the most dangerous room in the house.
The whole recipe makes about 38 – 40 cookies. My half recipe made about 19 or so cookies. They are pretty and fewer than 19 in the photo because we ate all the misfits.
Any uneaten crumbs and misfit cookies can be crumbled over ice-cream. Daddy would enjoy them this way.