Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oatmeal Scotchies

My first experience with oatmeal scotchies was as a young teenager. I had a friend who was 2 years younger than I, and we started hanging out Sunday afternoons for quite a while. We would go to her house after church every week and bake cookies and ride her horses. We were silly girls. Every week we'd make a different kind of cookie, and one of our trademarks was that we would bake a giant cookie to give to one of the boys that we hung out with regularly. Usually the crush of the week got the giant cookie. Like I said, we were silly girls.

In retrospect, her parents must have loved that we were hanging out all the time, because the kitchen was always stocked with all the ingredients that we could have possibly wanted for cookies. They never complained about the ingredients being combined and then given away to boy after boy. I had never had Oatmeal Scotchies until we made them together one afternoon. One taste of that dough and I was hooked. I loved butterscotch chips, and had only ever had them in a Tollhouse-like cookie, and that just wasn't very tasty. But butterscotch and oatmeal are made for each other. The oatmeal gives the cookies some texture and flavor that tempers the sweetness of butterscotch. A hint of cinnamon in the dough adds the perfect nuance to every bite of cookie.

I have adapted the cookie recipe over the years. I became discouraged time after time again as the cookies would spread too much and I'd end up with lacey, fragile cookies that didn't travel very well. So I took Nestle's original recipe and reduced the butter to keep them from spreading so much. A also reduced the oatmeal a bit, and added a handful of chopped pecans, because butterscotch and pecans are perfect for each other.

I still think about my friend every once in a while- and always when I make these cookies. I can't even remember the last time we talked, but I always think of her as I whip up a batch of Oatmeal Scotchies for my family. And I always wonder if her kids enjoy Oatmeal Scotchies as much as mine do.


Robyn said...

What a wonderful story about your friend, thank you for sharing.

Erika said...

Thanks Robyn, I love how sometimes we connect food with a memory. How the simple process of making something, or the scent of certain spices takes us back to a different moment in time.