There’s something sacred about peeking into my grandmother’s recipe box. It’s nothing special, really, just a wooden box with a hinged lid and a few scratches. But inside it houses a fascinating history — of the daily meals she fed her family, of 20th century cooking and baking trends, of her uncanny interest in all things Jell-O.
I spend a lot of time these days with the recipe box. I thumb through its index cards, looking for inspiration. I read the handwritten recipes and the newspaper cut-outs and wonder what it was that drew her to that particular recipe. I crack up at the quirky, funny notes she left on the cards, notes to herself and whomever else would someday read the recipes. It’s as if she knew we’d pour over these one day and she wanted to make sure we would feel her right here with us.
Last weekend, when spring decided to arrive in my backyard and the tulips opened their faces to the sky, I finally got around to making her version of oatmeal scotchies. It’s a basic cookie recipe jazzed up with butterscotch morsels and quick oats. Those who don’t like the taste of butterscotch could easily switch to raisins or chocolate chips. The recipe calls for two eggs, so I got around to digging into my latest dozen of cage-free eggs from a local farmer. So pretty, so tasty.
What I like most about this cookie recipe is that it’s quick and painless. That, in my meaningless opinion, is the best kind of cookie recipe. The dough came together easily, helped by using two sticks of butter at room temperature. I folded the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then folded in the quick oats and morsels. Couldn’t be more simple.
I wound up using two different baking sheets — a metal, supposedly non-stick sheet and a baking stone that I normally use for pizzas. I’ve never been a fan of the non-stick sheets, but I used it as a matter of brevity. Stick to baking stones, if you like chewy cookies. I do. The batter yielded about 36 cookies.
(adapted from family recipe)