I hadn’t stealth-baked since I was twelve.

The Only Oatmeal Cookie

As the weather in southern New England threatens to break into the 50’s any day now, I’m wrapping up my winter bake ware, but not before a final run of my favorite waist expanders. And what do you know, after years of fine-tuning and this particularly insidious past winter, I seem to have perfected the oatmeal raisin cookie. I made the good-bye batch in secret late last night; Billy the Kid is convinced that oats are an attempt to pass off a vegetable in snack form and refuses to allow any baking time to be wasted on hippie health food. BK’s free will is coming in at full speed and it’s battle-picking season at the Peña house. I can sympathize with his resentment of vegetables (and hippies), so I’m letting him choose what we bake for now. While these contain a satisfyingly concerning amount of sugar, the salt cuts it down perfectly, encouraging a rapid cycle of consumption. I despise a cakey oatmeal cookie; this one is barely a solid when first removed from the oven. I’ll go right ahead and claim full credit for these bad Larries since a second egg apparently has never occurred to anyone else. If you’d like to comment on my method of pluralizing “Larry,” feel free to drop a hand-written note right in the garbage.

2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 C dark brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
3 C old fashioned oats
1/2 C golden raisins
1/2 chopped, toasted pecans

Assemble the ingredients as you would any normal cookie dough. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets with at least 2 inches between each pile and bake single sheets at 350 for 13 to 14 minutes. Once removed from the oven, let the cookies sit on the sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack for 10 more. As soon as they hit room temperature, cover them up to preserve the chew.

A note on the raisins: I prefer the golden variety, as they lend an element of surprise to each bite. Unless you look closely, they blend right into the golden-brown cookie, and I, for one, need something to look forward to.

Maybe next time you won’t be above some eye contact and a smile.

Oatmeal Raisin Daggers

Tuesday is the ideal day of the week for bringing homemade cookies to the office. On Mondays, most people are briefly refreshed after the weekend, and by hump-day they have something planned for the next one to keep them holding on, but Tuesday is the day of no hope in Corporate America. I learned a great deal during my time beneath the fluorescents, not the least of which is that Oatmeal Raisin is the preferred cookie of 90% of VP’s and C-blank-O’s. I advise office agenda bakers to maintain a cookie email distribution list, which you should frequently cross-reference with your shit list. Removal from the former list due to infractions ranging from flagrant ethics breaches to failure to suppress superiority complexes to inappropriate remonstrations is the perfect way to support the what-goes-around principle while protecting yourself from disciplinary action. Your cookie list must be large enough to ensure that the offending party immediately notes their status change, and you should set it up with addresses in the CC, rather than BCC, field to encourage a shackled-in-the-public-square feel.

1/4 C butter, melted
1 C light brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg
1/2 C applesauce
1 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or 1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 C raisins

Set your oven to 350. Cream together the butter and sugar until blended, then add the brown sugar and mix until completely combined (no lumps!). Beat in the egg, then stir in the applesauce and vanilla. Add the flour, soda, powder, salt and spices and mix until incorporated. Stir in the oats and raisins. Form the dough into 2″ balls, place them 3″ apart on cookie sheets, and bake single sheets for 15 minutes, turning at 7. Upon removal from the oven, let the cookies stand on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you have a hand in that departmental layoff that transferred Service to underpaid workers in Mexico and still think you were getting a cookie?

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