Monday, February 27, 2017

Runny- er, Bonnie Doon Oaties

Today, we at A Book of Cookrye present not a reader-submitted a recipe, but a friend-submitted one! Yes indeed, this one comes from someone who personally thought of me and felt this recipe called out to me.

Truly, this touches on a lot of things we like to do here at A Book of Cookrye. To wit: It's some forgotten recipe from who-knows-where. It's for dessert. It's made on a typewriter. Incidentally, check out the completely error-free typing.
Thus says the person who scanned and posted the recipe card:

"These cookies were a family favorite when I was a kid. This was also the first recipe my mom made by herself when she was young."

Any recipe with a note like that has got to be really good, right?
I've never heard of oatmeal-coconut cookies before. However, the idea sounded really delicious. And so, we begin with a lot of coconut to toast! Besides, I needed to heat the oven anyway.

How many people make toasted coconut for anything these days? I know people used to put it on top of cakes, but these days it seems no one does it.
Meanwhile, the recipe turned into the part of making cookies everyone will recognize.
I know the recipe says to use shortening, but the last of the Christmas Crisco was already gone.

Just about every recipe that starts out looking like this ends very well indeed. Besides, this was some random person's mom's first recipe which then became a family favorite.

After eating a lot more of this cookie dough than I intended to, I can swear to you that this recipe promised to be as amazing as the notes made it look to be. I meant to only have a small taste, but somehow ended up eating... a lot.

And finally, we were ready to add the coconut which, in accordance with someone's mom's carefully typewritten instructions, we toasted. It looked like Rice-A-Roni.

At this point, we checked to see how much oatmeal went into it and.... shit.

You know how they always say to carefully read recipes before beginning? I should try that. At least waiting for the oatmeal to toast provided time to clean up the mess. Following the method that worked on the coconut, we put in the oven and left it there, stirring it sporadically, until it made the kitchen smell toasty. Do you think it made a difference?

All right, here's the point where the already delicious cookie dough theoretically becomes, as promised on the recipe card, Bonnie Doon Oaties!

Wow. This recipe is very, very monotonously brown. This is the brownest bowl of brown stuff I've seen in a long time. And it's all the same shade of brown. No dots from chocolate chips or anything to break up the brown monotony. It is so, so brown.

Also, with all the toasted things in it, this is the crunchiest cookie dough I think I've ever made. Imagine if you will stirring tiny croutons (obviously without the seasonings) into cookie dough and you can get an idea of what this was like when you tasted it. Hopefully baking would soften all that toasted stuff.

I know that cookies are supposed to spread in baking, but somehow, these looked wrong. They also looked like splats of puke.

Sure enough, we did not end up with cookies. We ended up with a cookie sheet.

Actually, I gotta tell you. The camera is being a lot nicer to these than is justified. Don't ask me how, but it's making them look better. They really looked like this.

If you look closely, it looks like the kitchen floor of someone's house. Does it look like old linoleum to anyone else?
Once again, we at A Book of Cookrye have made something that looks like it belongs underfoot.

I don't know whether to call this cookies or refer to it as a single failure. It/they was/were so thin, there were holes everywhere.

Undaunted by having somehow turned cookie dough into leather, an attempt was made to separate it from the pan.

I am so glad I put a foil over this pan. I always do because I hate washing dishes, but in this instance, the foil really paid off. But somehow, I managed to cut out and lift off some of the cookies intact. They were very flimsy. Seriously, look how much daylight you can see through them.

Also, I just have to detour to ask if cameras have a Pinterest setting that makes your life look better than it is. Just like a lot of them have selfie settings to subtly make your face look better, to cameras have a setting to make all your craft projects and baking look a lot more flawless than it is? I mean, look at this! I left one of the "cookies" exactly as it is out of the camera, and it looks beautifully golden brown and ever-so-tempting. It looks perfect for putting on Pinterest with all those other godawful craft projects that take 5 hours, all of which are posted by people claiming you just whipped this up in a few minutes and ending half their captions with "#blessed."

In recognition of what the first batch of cookies did when we attempted to bake them, we decided to take that shortcut so beloved among all of us who want cookies but don't feel like carefully spooning out little plops of dough one at a time. We smooshed it into a pan instead.
Looks like tuna salad, doesn't it?

Once again, I have to ask if cameras have a special setting for all those people who want to show off their perfect lives. You know, the ones who spend more time making sure their house looks suitable for uploading to Facebook than the spend doing anything else. Behold what a tempting deep brown this appears to be!

All right, it looks kind of leathery and dried out. The camera can't fix everything. But in the spirit of honesty, it really looked like this. You may think it looks fake or that it looks like I just put a blue-green filter over the whole thing for some reason, but I swear to you this is what it actually looked like.
Kind of like when you compare the delicious-looking dinner on the box to the miserable-looking slop that comes out of your microwave, isn't it?

That said, the bars didn't look too terribly bad. But instead of looking like cookies, they look like some of those "healthy" muffins you see in stores. You know, the ones with chia seeds, sunflower kernels, and other things we used to put in bird feeders.
Yes, this is the Pinterest-filtered one out of the camera.

As for the taste: they taste like granola bars. Given all the toasted things that went in them, this should not surprise.
If you weren't expecting sweet cookies, they're not bad. But they taste a lot healthier than they are. You could claim that these have extra fiber and five types of nutritious grains in them, and people would taste the cookies would believe you. So yeah, they are actually pretty good, but you may as well use whole-wheat flour and add some other things to make them closer to healthy since they taste like they should be.


  1. I've had this happen to chocolate chip cookies before. That is, where they spread in the oven and become the Blob like this. I suspect old baking soda might be to blame...

    1. You know, I've sometimes wondered why baking soda works in chocolate chip cookies since there's nothing acidic in the dough (that I know of) for it to react with and fizz. But it works anyway and you never have any metallic baking soda taste when they're done.

  2. I did some googling, and apparently, using butter instead of shortening may actually be what's to blame. The poor Bonnie Doon Oaties melted before they could bake, essentially, due to butter melting more quickly than shortening. And now I know.

    Another trick that occurred to me, which would also work in the name of making these healthier as is fitting their ingredients--using sucralose (Splenda) instead of the white sugar. (My boyfriend's stepdad is pre-diabetic, so I have to cut back on the sugar if I'm making treats for his family. I've done a lot of Splenda baking.) For some reason, Splenda and only Splenda seems to make baked goods especially cakey. You can't use straight Splenda in things meant to be chewy, like chocolate chip cookies or brownies. Chocolate chip cookies made with Splenda end up more like scones, and brownies turn into sad, dry, thin cake. But going half-and-half in chocolate chip cookies, using Splenda for white sugar and the real brown stuff, creates something actually quite pleasant where the cookies don't spread as much and are a little puffy, but they still have that chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie interior. Maybe some of that would also help these Oaties stick together.

    1. Thank you for doing the research! I just might get some shortening and try them again. And I just might try making them with half Splenda instead.