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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Salted Oatmeal Cookies

As a relatively newcomer to the office world, leaving my expensive academic life behind to get a job to pay for said academic life, I am not accustomed to the ways of The Office. For one, I don't think I have enough fancy clothes. Right around Wednesday or Thursday morning is when I find it difficult to come up with some stylish, work-appropriate ensemble. I also scramble to put together a lunch box so I can avoid spending $7 to $10 at any one of the endless lunch choices in the Financial District. That gets expensive if you add it all up! Usually, I just try to take any dinner leftovers, assuming of course that I planned ahead to make a little extra.

What I really struggle with is the fact that my office has a constant supply of junk food. Is this true of all offices?! My office has weekly Costco deliveries of soda, salted nuts, soda, cheddar goldfish, soda, cookies, and every type of individual sized chips. A big, and I mean BIG, mountain of Doritos-Cheetos-Fritos-Lays. Even a big jar filled with M&M's. Now, I don't purchase any of these items for my home, but now the wall of junk food is staring me in the face daily. Oh, I forgot to mention that my office is directly adjacent to said Chip Mountain. One of my co-workers claimed he binged on so many bags of chips when he first started working there so now he has no problem avoiding them. I just try to pretend that its wallpaper and walk right by it.

In addition to this endless supply, people always bring in a box of chocolates or a package of miniature candy to sit on the secretary's counter so you can conveniently grab one each time you walk by, which could literally be around 15 times a day on a busy day where hunting down a Partner involves covertly spying on him to find "a good moment" to knock on his door to ask a question. Or someone goes on a trip to Canada and brings back a bag of Coffee Crisp bars or Smarties. Or it's Girl Scout Cookie Time. Oh, and don't forget Bagel Fridays (which also happens to be Casual Jean Fridays). This is where I fail. I have no problem avoiding the chip buffet, but it's the random goodie that always gets me. Especially if I am feeling stressed out.

Oftentimes when I am feeling stressed out, I bake cookies. And, on one such occasion, in walked the Salted Oatmeal Cookie and announced it was here to stay. The magic happens somewhere in between the sweet and slightly sour dried cranberries mellowed out by creamy white chocolate chips. My friends tell me they are incredibly addictive. I have to agree.


* 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
* 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 1 cup flour
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
* 1 cup oats
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup white chocolate chips


* Heat oven to 350 degrees.
* In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 2 sugars.
* Add in the egg and vanilla and blend together.
* In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and ginger.
* Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
* Gently fold in the oats, cranberries and white chocolate chips and combine (do not overmix!).
* Use an ice cream scoop or scant 1/4 cup to scoop out the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet. If you have a magical Silpat, use it! If you don't some parchment paper will work as well. Bake for 10-12 minutes--it will still be semi-raw when you pull it out of the oven. Take the cookie sheets out of the oven and let them sit on the countertop to continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes or so--the cookies will settle into themselves and create a soft chewy middle...