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Recipe: Chewy Maple Irish Oatmeal Cookies

Here's the recipe for the Chewy Maple Irish Oatmeal Cookies I made last weekend...or at least as much of a recipe as I can provide. A fair bit of substitution and "looks like it needs a little more of that ingredient" went into their making.

I started with a recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies from the 1972 12th printing of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, originally published in 1963.

Ingredients:
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup cut-up dates, if desired
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

Procedure:
Heat oven to 325 degrees (slow mod.). Stir together oats, sugar, and oil in mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until frothy and add to oat mixture. Stir in salt and almond extract. Stir in dates and walnuts. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes. Cool, remove from baking sheet. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

I pretty much followed that recipe when making the Oatmeal Raisin'n'Cherry Cookies. I didn't have almond extract on hand, so substituted vanilla (that seemed a better choice than orange or lemon extract, my other readily-available options). I wanted benveniste to eat whichever of my cookies he chose, so the walnuts remained on my not-desired list. Instead of dates, I put in about 3/4 cup of Sun-Maid Goldens and Cherries dried fruit. Those cookies were okay, but I'll look for another Oatmeal Raisin recipe before trying them again. I don't think that it was just too much dried fruit -- there wasn't enough substance to the oatmeal part of the cookie, either. And they seemed oily.

Onto the star of the extravaganza:

When I was picking up instant Quaker Oats, I noticed a box of McCann's Instant Irish Oatmeal. "Maple & Brown Sugar, naturally flavored," it claimed. Hmmmm. So I bought it.

I compared nutrition labels with the Quaker Oats, trying to figure out how much brown sugar was already in the McCann's mix. Maybe I wasn't paying close enough to serving size, but the answers I came up with just didn't seem credible. So I winged it.

I measured the contents of the individual packets. It took six of them to reach just above the 2-cup mark. I then added about 3/4 cup of granulated light brown sugar -- I ran out of the regular kind on the Raisin'n'Cherry cookies.

The resulting mix looked like it needed more oatmeal. I added one complete packet of McCann's, and one packet less a lump of what I presumed was maple-sugar mix. The next time I make these cookies, I'll try to separate the oats from the maple-sugar flavorings and measure from there.

That looked better. I added the called-for amount of oil, but then went with 3 egg whites instead of 2. I didn't increase the salt. I used 3/4 tsp. of vanilla extract. I don't remember the exact count, but I think I ended up with about 10 more cookies than the Raisin'n'Cherry cookies. I usually make cookies somewhat larger than the recipe indicates, so run short of the yield numbers. I know I ended up several cookies over 3 dozen, but still less than 4 dozen.

I don't know how much difference the Irish oatmeal made. The oats looked a bit smaller than the Quaker product, and I liked the cookie texture better. That might have been due in part to the oats; I'm sure that having more oats without increasing the oil helped.

I suspect that using real maple flavoring in the original recipe would yield good result. Probably more than the 1/2 tsp. of extract the recipe calls for, and I'll bet I'd get good results with a mix of maple and brown sugar in addition to maple flavoring.

The cookbook had the Chewy Oatmeal Cookies as one of two they offered that were low in saturated fats, and also stated that cookies made with egg whites rather than whole eggs were good for those on low-fat diets. Their terminology no doubt reflects the nutrition labeling practices of the day; there is no specific nutrition information included with the recipe.

If you make them, I'd love to hear how they come out. And any changes you make to the recipe, too, of course!

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
vgqn
Aug. 23rd, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! If I ever make them (I cook lots but seldom bake), I'm sure I'll be making lots of subs too. I'd be disinclined to buy the packetized cereal, so I'd try to get the effect using regular oats and, hmm, maple flavoring I suppose. Maple syrup would be too tricky to sub, I suspect. I might try putting the regular oats in a food processor and whirl them around a bit to get the finer texture of the instant oats. Well, it's all hypothetical at the moment.

Thanks again! They sure sound yummy.
mjlayman
Aug. 24th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
How about maple sugar instead of brown sugar?
cogitationitis
Aug. 24th, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
You can buy Irish Oatmeal in most stores' International Foods area, or in health food stores. Maple sugar is expensive, but grade B maple syrup can be boiled down and substituted in. (Not sure it would be any cheaper.) Rather than egg whites, use any sort of Egg Beaters-like product; they're all just egg whites, and the yolks don't go to waste: 2 whites = 1/4 cup.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 25th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)
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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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