This cookie is simple and unassuming, but I swear it calls to me like no other. So much so, that I have inadvertently eaten a whole batch by myself without surfacing for air. My family is not known for their baking, or even cooking, for that matter. They are kind of famous for their eating skills, but that is another story. Anyway, the only particularly notable recipe that I remember from childhood would be my Aunt Ruth’s Crispy Oatmeal Cookies. They are highly addictive, perfectly crisp, lacy yet substantial, and delicately flavored with brown sugar, nutty whole oats, salt and vanilla. Just try to resist them.
Aunt Ruth, who is not actually my blood relative (more of a relative by marriage through another relative), was a sweet, kind, adorable lady that you couldn’t help but love. Her charming barely-there Southern accent and warm, perfect manners made her a lovely host and gave her cookies something extra that nobody since has been able to replicate….even with her exact same recipe. My Aunt Adele, who has even made them side by side with Aunt Ruth, says that she can’t get them to taste just right. So, I set about testing this recipe with little tweaks in the method to see if I could get close to the original. They came out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Maybe, just a hair different than Aunt Ruth’s cookies, but definitely worthy of making on a leisurely day of baking.
Aunt Ruth’s Crispy Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
Makes 4 dozen cookies
In a large bowl, cream together softened butter (or margarine for pareve cookies) and sugars. Aunt Ruth specified to do this whole method by hand, but I used the kitchen aid on low speed. Add in eggs and vanilla. Mix until just incorporated.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Again, do this by hand or on very low speed with mixer.
Fold in oatmeal by hand. Refrigerate dough for 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll into small balls (a rounded teaspoon) and flatten until very thin (the thinner the better) onto greased cookie sheet. You can flatten with a fork or your hand, but try to get a very thin, even layer.
Bake 9-12 minutes or until medium brown and crisp at edges. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Can be stored in airtight container for a few days, if they last that long. Enjoy!