Monday, October 22, 2012

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies: Making room

Since children have begun their progress towards adulthood, it seems that the stuff of babyhood has fallen by the wayside, and by stuff, I actually mean THE PHYSICAL stuff that babies need.  I've been fortunate to have two younger brothers on whom I can unload many of the trappings of babyhood like clothes, toys, furniture and books, and what has long been in storage in our random "spare room" has slowly, but surely, been taken to Brothers' homes for use by their children.

The space where much of this stuff has been stored is slowly opening up.  It is a really random room in our house, originally designed to be some sort of open landing called a "library" but the previous owner decided to close it up and create an actual room.  I use the term room, quite loosely for it is a strangely shaped room,  much longer than it is wide and the kicker of it is that there is no heat in this room.  There is, however two beautiful windows, one which overlooks into our neighbor's backyard, and the other which looks out onto the street.  

As I began the insane process of sorting through clothes, organizing books, and folding bedding, it became clear to me that this space DESERVED to be used for something more than random storage.  In a lightbulb moment, I decided that this space should be an office for Husband, that the natural light and space would be a welcome, cozy (albeit cold), space for Husband to spread out and do his manly things like work.  Suddenly in a fit of activity, with Daughters' help, we began the process of super organization and I soon could envision this wonderful room for Husband.

When Husband heard of my plan on the phone, he didn't seem all that happy.  His exact words were, "You hole yourself in your office all the time and now you want me to hole myself up in a separate space?"  I tried to explain to him the importance of his space, with his files, and his stuff, and how awesome it would be for him to have a room where he could snack by the computer (I hate the snacking he does in bed as he works) and maybe we could put up a flat screen TV in the new office that only he could watch.  Husband continued to protest that he didn't need his own space, and that in fact, he'd much prefer to be with me in my office, if that is where I would hole myself up at the end of the day.

Truthfully, I love my messy office/classroom.  It's messy with the activity of students; my desk is always covered with some sort of something that I'm working on and there are books everywhere. However, my comfy office chair and this chaotic space is where I like to be.  At the end of the day, after pushing and fighting and teaching and mothering and cooking, I like my own private space.  I like to be alone. I like to stare into the computer and just be solitary.  I like to unwind here.  But upon hearing Husband's protests of not needing his own space, I realize that maybe I just need to make room for him in my space.  I shouldn't be in a hurry to enclose him in a separate space just so I can have my own (which by the way, was not my original intent) and instead, I should find a small corner, in my already too crowded office for him to have space.  I need to learn to make room.

If you think you've had every single cookie recipe that there is to have, I beg to differ.  Make room.  This cookie deserves a spot in your rotation.  The texture is something unique and different and the flavor - it's a bit of retro with the caramel and the apple.  

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 5 dozen

Ingredients
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup rice crispies (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
1 ¼ cups chopped dried apples
1 ¼ cups caramel bits (Kraft brand)

Method
Combine the butter and both sugars in the bowl  (either in a stand mixer or in a bowl where you can use a hand mixer) and cream on medium high for 2 to 3 minutes.   Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat until all ingredients are mixed together, another 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce speed to low, and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat until just mixed, about 1 minute.

Add oats, crispies, apples, and caramel bits and mix until just blended.  

At this point, you can simply wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until need.  OR you can go ahead and bake them off.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop tablespoon scoops and lay them about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are golden and firmed up.

Allow cookies to cool in pan for 5 minutes, before removing them to a cooling rack.  Enjoy.  


I'm making room in lots of different ways.

I bought mine at Target.  One bag was 96 cents.  This is WAY MORE expensive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly YUMMY! love the texture of the rice crispies!! Thanks for sharing! =)

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