Sunday, November 8, 2009

made to be broken

I have a few food rules. For example, Food Rule No. 4,375 is that sweets should not contain nuts. Nuts are for snacking and salads and savory main dishes. Unless nuts are appearing in a noncrunchy butter form, they have no place in brownies, cookies, cake, or ice cream. Am I right or am I right?

I am wrong. When the lovely Elisa offered me one of her oatmeal cookies over Labor Day weekend in the Adirondacks, I took one to be polite. I took another because I felt sorry for her, and I ate a third and fourth because I didn't want her to beat me up. I e-mailed her later and asked for the recipe because I was doing some no-nuts-in-cookies-related research and needed the recipe for data-collection purposes.

This past week when I decided a good fall cookie might be the perfect antidote to the chill in the air and 4:30 p.m. sunset, I though of Elisa's C3OWs, as they were named by a fellow researcher over Labor Day weekend. They're heartier than your run-of-the-mill Tollhouse but still deliciously chocolaty and not too nutty, and the dried cranberries give them a nice tang.

C3OW Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
¾ cup of sweetened, dried cranberries
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.

3. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.

5. Mix in the quick oats, cranberries, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

6. Put heaping spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7. Bake for 12-17 minutes (depending on the oven). Cool on a baking rack until ready to eat.

Food Rule No. 789: Follow directions when baking. The baking time and temperature here seemed off to me—after 17 minutes at 325 the cookies didn't appear browned enough, so I left them in the oven, and they ended up being too crispy. Next I tried baking them at 350; these browned, but were a little dry. Finally I followed the directions: The cookies were not brown on the bottom and seemed a little undercooked when I took them out after ~17 minutes at 325 but were perfect—delicious warm and still soft when they cooled.

Happy fall to me.


  1. Are you sharing these, I hope?? My office is a short walk up the hill and Chestnut needs the air.

  2. i'm so excited to see that chestnut is sticking :)

  3. Oooh - I am fascinated and waiting on the edge of my seat for the rest of Kate's rules! Please share!

  4. Chestnut is very popular, MLC! Both the dog and that name...

  5. I may be trying this recipe out this weekend with a group of children - life's toughest and most honest judges. We will see if THEY agree that this rule should be disregarded.

  6. Hi Kate! It's Elisa! Tim sent this posting to me a couple of weeks ago (vis a vis Jody who sent it to him). I didn't have time to write then, but am making the time to now. I had no idea you blogged! (Exciting! I like your writing style!) And I am so honored that my little cookies are worthy enough to be shared here! :)

    Hope things are good up in VT!