Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Favorite Cookie Recipe

Years ago, in my former life as a circus performer (yes, I really was a circus performer), I was working with friends aerialist Wini McKay and Guinness World record holding foot juggler Chester Cable at a small county fair in Los Banos, California. It was there that I had what was, up to that point in my young life, the greatest cookie I had ever tasted. A ladies auxiliary of the Lion's Club, Knights of Columbus, Rotary Club or some other such worthy civic organization was selling these home baked slices of heaven at the fair. Wini, Chester, and I were hooked, eating at least three a day for the entire run of the fair.

I asked, make that pleaded, begged even, for the recipe. Each day the ladies promised they would ask the elusive "Marge -- aka keeper of the sacred formula"-- to bring it to the fair. Well, Sunday night came and no Marge, no recipe. Trying to hide my disappointment, I left my address with the ladies, and tried to prepare for the upcoming morning's unavoidable round of baked goods withdrawal.

Well, months went by and I came to accept that the treats were forever lost. But one day, when the sun was shining just a little bit brighter and the birds were singing just a little louder (OK the birds were actually irritating, but that's another story), salvation arrived --an unmarked envelope -- in it a single sheet of white paper, and on that paper, a recipe. No signature, no return address.

The ever mysterious Marge at work? Or had one of the other ladies fearlessly gone against the recipe keeper's wishes and sent it? Whoever it was, did she know, as we do, that such a recipe mustn't be kept a secret? It must be shared with the world! Whoever was responsible for this act of culinary good samaritanism, I was never able to thank them. But if you're out there, I, and everyone who tries these cookies, really do appreciate it.

In typical fashion, I had to fiddle with the recipe, but I think my addition of toffee chips makes it even more perfect.

The cookies are very simple to make. It is actually easier to mix them by hand, as opposed to using an electric mixer. Cheri likes to make them using all the optional ingredients, but feel free to mix and match as you see fit (keeping the total overall amount of options more or less equal). Don't like raisins? Use more chocolate chips. Don't like nuts? Omit them. You get the picture.

The cookies make wonderful gifts, either freshly baked or as frozen cookie dough. You might want to keep some well wrapped frozen dough in your own freezer as well. Just slice off a couple of cookies at a time and bake in the oven or toaster oven. What could be better?

Makes About 3 Dozen Cookies

1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup oats (uncooked oatmeal)
1 cup crushed corn flakes cereal
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Options (mix and match as you like):
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup toffee chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts

Preheat oven to 375° F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, corn flakes, sugars, raisins and coconut. Add eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Mix till well blended. Mix in chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, mix flour salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture and stir until it is all incorporated into the dough.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 -15 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.


Pam said...

Oh my. They sound so good! Would love to hear more about your life in the circus.

Cheri Sicard said...

These cookies are great -- the perfect combination of textures, in my opinion.

Yes, I do need to write more about my circus days. There never seems time, and sometimes it's hard to write about your life -- not sure where to start.

Sabryna said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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