Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 1: Oatmeal Crunchies

(Teacup and saucer: Miss Havisham’s Curiosities)

Welcome to my Baker’s Solstice Countdown! Every day from December 1 until the Winter Solstice on December 21, I will share one of my favorite holiday recipes with you, so we can countdown to the first day of winter together in the best way I know – spending time in the kitchen creating sweet treats for the people we love.

Today’s recipe is Oatmeal Crunchies. They are The Husband’s favorite cookie, and the recipe is from my mother-in-law (naturally). They are simple to make, so they are a great start to the season’s baking. There’s no waiting for ingredients to come to room temperature, so you can make them whenever you have the time and inclination. They are light, full of butterscotch flavor, and, well, crunchy. They are the kind of cookie you will reach for every time you walk by the cookie jar. They won’t be around long, but I am happy to make another batch.

TIP: Be sure to use quick cooking rolled oatmeal; check the label carefully for those words. Quick cooking oatmeal has been milled into smaller pieces than regular rolled oatmeal, and that’s why it works in this recipe.

Oatmeal Crunchies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening (I use Spectrum Organic All-Veg Shortening, but any vegetable shortening will work)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dipping
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oatmeal

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. Have an ungreased cookie sheet standing by.
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use a large bowl and a handheld mixer), cream the shortening and sugars together until they are fluffy. Add the egg, and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy again.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together well. Stir in the oatmeal until it is well mixed in with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture and mix until thoroughly blended with no dry pockets of flour. The dough will be little sticky, but still easy to work with. If it’s giving you a hard time, add flour, a tablespoon at a time, until you can roll a small piece into a ball. Too much flour will make the cookies heavier and not as crunchy.
  5. Put a little granulated sugar in a little bowl, and start rolling 1-inch balls of dough, dipping the tops into the sugar, and placing them sugar side up on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until dark golden brown and crackly on top. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the cookie sheet cool before repeating the process to use up the rest of the dough.
    Yield: about 3 dozen cookies.

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