According to Tom’s Almanac recently, it was National Cookie Day. The Food Show (weekdays 2-4pm 990AM) is a great example of the power of suggestion. Whatever we talk about it seems someone has to do. In this case, it was me.
Just reading about National Cookie Day made me want to bake some cookies. But what kind? The Almanac didn’t specify. I looked through The Cookie Bible, the book that was sent to me when Rose Levy Beranbaum was on the show to promote her sequel to The Cake Bible.
What I was looking for was something like my “signature cookie,” which was a staple of mine when Tom arrived on the scene. He called them tree bark and mercilessly mocked them, which I didn’t mind. More for me.
I sure wish I could remember the recipe because they were breakfast in a cookie. Chocolate chips (these go back to the days when Nestle’s seemed good,) oatmeal, peanut butter, wheat germ, and whole wheat flour. A 1970s dream cookie if there ever was one, though I made them later in the next decade.
That cookie remains the ultimate for me, but any attempts at recollecting the exact recipe have failed, and all come up short. This time I decided to wing it and construct my own recipe from the shards of the dream cookie.
I had oatmeal in the house but went out for freshly ground peanut butter and Guittard extra dark chips. White sugar is poison in my mind, so I have been substituting honey for that. The peanut butter serves as the oil, though I did throw in a few tablespoons of butter for that “buttery” flavor. If they turned out badly I would eat them anyway. All good stuff here.
My cookie proclivities tend to crispy. Hard. Not for the faint of teeth. I smashed them in the oven to make them flatter, and they definitely delivered. Serious crunch. Tom rejected them immediately.
Watching them in the oven I regretted the extra butter because oil bubbled as they cooked. Once out, I didn’t have to wait for the hardening period. These came out hard, flat, and crunchy. The peanut butter taste was somehow dwarfed, but there was plenty of chocolate and crunchy oatmeal.
They weren’t pretty, but neither were the cookies of my dreams from way back when. And they weren’t sweet. They were a lot like the “signature cookie” but not as good. Most of the substance was oatmeal rather than flour.
I ate all of these myself. (Not in one sitting, to be clear.) And then I felt guilty because Tom had none. So it behooved me, didn’t it, to bake others for Tom?
Joanna Gaines has a chocolate chip cookie that is the best I have tasted, so I looked that one up online and made a batch of those with the remaining Guittard chips. The oatmeal was gone from the first batch that Tom rejected, so these were made with just chocolate chips, minus a bit of sugar. This recipe doesn’t use any white sugar, which is probably why they are so superior, at least to my taste.
Probably another reason I like them is that they just generally aren't too sweet, which may be why Tom rejected these too. After eating two batches of homemade cookies myself, I let Tom return to his Biscoff.
Here’s the recipe for the “signature cookie” knock-off:
NOTE: These will not be to everyone’s taste. Only those bored with “regular” cookies should try it. They taste exactly as they look...homely.
1 cup natural peanut butter
4 T honey
2 T vanilla
2 cups oatmeal
1 ½ cups flour
1tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
Add water as needed to make a dryish but still cohesive batter. Drop onto cookie sheet and flatten with a fork after they have started to settle in the oven.