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Friday, November 28, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

ReCedar Rapids, Iowa has been the home of Quaker Oats Company for over 100 years. In 2001 the company that merged as the Quaker Oats Company became a unit of PepsiCo. (History) While its headquarters were moved to Chicago, it's largest plant remains to be located in Cedar Rapids. This favorite cookie recipe has become a "trademark" recipe anytime a favorite Iowa treat is requested.
When I served on the 2007 Caldecott committee ( the committee that named David Wisnier's Flotsam as the Caldecott Award ) each of our committee members brought a treat from our region - city. Ann Simons brought chocolate from Russia (obviously that was a favorite of mine as I remember it). But we munched on the treats throughout the several days that we deliberated. My contribution was the Oatmeal Cookies. I took them to the committee meeting in an oatmeal tube -- it became the "ballot box" for our secret ballots as we sought to name the winner.

Here is the recipe (adapted I'm sure from a recipe from the Quaker Oats company itself)-- try it for the holidays you will not be disappointed.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

(preheat oven to 350 degrees)

Cream together:
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) softened butter (margarine will work but not as flavorful).
  • 1 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
Beat into the creamed mixture:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend into the creamed mixture:
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Gradually add into the combined mixture, 3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked).

Add in 1-2 cups of chocolate chips. (If you wish any other flavored chips, M&Ms®, raisins, or dried fruit [cranberries or apricots are especially delicious] may be substituted— but chocolaholics will insist on the chocolate chips.)

Drop by spoonsful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on a cookie sheet, remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. This recipe makes about 4 dozen.
—Sharron McElmeel

For younger chocolate chip cookie eaters (and readers) read Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington (Dutton, 2006 rev.ed.); for the older primary reader try sharing David Adler's Young Cam Jansen and the Missing Cookie (Puffin, 1998 pb), or for those intermediate readers who want a funny fast read try The Bride of Frankenstein Doesn't Bake Cookies (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, #41) by Debbie Dadey, Marcia T. Jones, and John Steven Gurney (Scholastic, 2000). Older intermediate/middle grade readers who wish to investigate how the chocolate chip cookie was developed (as well as other inventions) will want to read Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesch and Melissa Sweet (Sandpiper, 2002 pb).

For more literary connections to recipes check out Authors in the Kitchen or Authors in the Pantry.


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