Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I would never call myself a "baker" because I simply enjoy making savory foods more than sweet (which is especially odd considering I have a major sweet tooth). I've always felt like I could be more creative with the savory side of the culinary arts, and it's easier to avert disaster with a sauce than it is with a soufflĂ©. Baking is a more precise, get-it-right-the-first-time-and-you-won't-know-if-you-did-it-right-until-you-pull-it-out-of-the-oven science. I don't like to fail, so if I'm going to do something to relax and enjoy myself, I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment.

Therefore, when it comes to baking, I like to stick with proven recipes I'm comfortable with. My little binder is filled with recipes that my mother passed down to me. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Great-Grandma's Banana Bread. Lemon Love Notes. Oatmeal Cookies. Kitchen-tested and foolproof, the way I like them.

I have house guests coming tomorrow, and decided to bake some cookies to have handy for desserts over the next few days. Trying to keep it on the healthy side, I opted for Oatmeal Cookies (Mom's recipe), substituting sucralose (my sweetener of choice, better known as Splenda) for sugar. While raisins might be a common ingredient in oatmeal cookies, I am not a fan of raisins (aka "humiliated grapes"). So I decided to try dark chocolate chips (aka "the healthy chocolate"). My husband eagerly volunteered to be my test subject for tasting my spin on "healthy cookies", and declared them to be yummy.

Per my mom's recipe, this makes about 5 dozen cookies. However, I tend to make them on the large side, so I come out with closer to 4 dozen. Either way, it makes a lot of cookies. If my coworkers are lucky, there will be leftovers for me to bring into the office. ;-)

April's Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 Cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening (plus some extra for greasing your cookie sheets)
2 Cups Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 Cup Splenda (Granulated)
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
6 Cups Uncooked Quaker Quick Oats
10 oz Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the shortening, sugars, eggs, water and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda, and add it to the shortening mixture. Mix well. Blend in the oatmeal, then add the chocolate chips and incorporate them as evenly as possible through the batter.

Grease your cookie sheets. (I put about a half teaspoon of Crisco on a paper towel, and smear it evenly on the surface of the cookie sheet for each set of cookies I bake on it.) Measure out a generous tablespoon full of the batter for each cookie and place them on your cookie sheet, spaced about 1-2 inches apart. If you like your cookies moist and chewie, cook for 12 minutes. Cook them 15 minutes if you like them crispier.

Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before you remove the them with a spatula and place them on a wire rack to cool. After they've been allowed to cool for about an hour or so, put them in a cookie jar or another sealed container for storage.

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