Where Did He Get The Recipe? (Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies)

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There are two things I like to do when I get back from a trip:

(1) Eat a burrito;

(2) Bake something.

When Craig and I got back from D.C. last week, I led him along to the same destination I headed to when I returned from Paris last winter: Chipolte. Nothing hits the spot after a long day of traveling like a big, fat, oozing burrito—even it is from a company owned by McDonald’s. (Boy, Ray Croc must be smiling on this website lately.) Yes, we each got a burrito—mine with chicken, black beans, sour cream and salsa; Craig’s with cheese—took them home and watched TV.

Then when TV grew boring I got a hankering to bake.

“Aren’t you tired?” asked Craig.

“Nope,” I said zipping off to the kitchen.

And in that kitchen I threw together the cookies you see above—Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, my first time making them. The smell was heavenly—buttery, sweet, comforting—and the taste was smooth and soft, like a newborn baby. In fact a newborn baby was one of the ingredients.

Because I made so many cookies and I didn’t want to get fat (ha! too late for that!), I gave Craig a bag to take home for his roommate. Craig later reported that the roommate loved these cookies. “She wanted to know where you got the recipe.”

And that my friends is what I’m here to divulge. Are you ready? Write this down. The recipe comes from the side of the butterscotch chip bag. Buy butterscotch chips and you’ll have the recipe. But in case you don’t live anywhere that sells bags of butterscotch chips, I’ll type it out for you. Please enjoy the next time you return from a trip:

Oatmeal Scotchies

[from the side of the Nestle Butterscotch Morsels Bag]

[this makes 4 dozen cookies; you can halve it, like I did, and make it 2 dozen]

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 2/3 cups (11 oz. package) NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies; 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For The Love of Yogurt (Blueberry Yogurt Cake & Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt) [PLUS: A Kitchen Travesty]

We food bloggers are creating quite the online ouvre. While some of us are leaving behind breast cupcakes, the rest are leaving behind fabulous recipes. Case in point: Clotilde’s Blueberry Yogurt Cake:

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And David’s frozen yogurt recipe which I applied to a recently acquired tub of sour cherries making Sour Cherry Frozen Yogurt:

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The primary ingredients for both these recipes came from–yup, you guessed it–the farmer’s market. The blueberries and sour cherries I bought from the same stand. I was really only going to buy blueberries but when the woman there mentioned sour cherries I remembered reading an article that said: “If you see sour cherries at the market, snatch them up. You can put them in the freezer and use them after sour cherry season is over.” So I reluctantly requested the cherries too and I went home with two fruits, unsure of what I would do.

The answer came by way of the third ingredient, an ingredient I acquired two weeks earlier at the Ronnybrook Dairy stand. Yup: yogurt. (Cue Mel Brooks: “Ya hoid of me?”) I knew yogurt would last a long time in my fridge and I figured I could concoct something to do with it–maybe eat it with berries and honey or use it to coat my cat after setting her on fire. I figured yogurt was a good thing to have so I bought it. And I forgot about it. Until the blueberries and the cherries came along.

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You Will Rue The Day That You Don’t Make This Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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Click here find yourself transported to the best recipe I’ve yet done with strawberries and rhubarb either in combination or individually. This recipe is so dyn-o-mite that like a Mark Twain character I couldn’t resist scooping up the chunk that you see missing and shoveling it into my mouth with reckless abandon only thirty minutes out of the oven. That’s a quarter of a pie that I ate that night: actions speak louder than words. Meaning: the pie was delicious and I’m a fatty.

But, using words, I’d like to describe the wonder of the strawberry rhubarb combination. Could a better pie pair exist in heaven? I think not. These two contrasting specimens complement each other so well when baked together that it makes you believe that there’s order in the universe, that there must be some guiding force who planted strawberries in one patch, rhubarb in another and gleefully put his or her hands behind his or her back and hoped that humans would figure it out. I’ve figured it out all right–the only challenge that remains is making pie crust without having a nervous break-down.

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The Tart Whisperer (Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Tart)

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For anyone who watches “The Dog Whisperer” (and I’m a recent convert after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s article about him last week), you will know that dogs are pack animals. For them to behave–for them to be healthy, happy dogs–you have to be their master. Dogs will read you: show any weakness, and they will own you.

Tart dough is like a dog. You have to be its master or it will own you. Last time I made a tart, I got bit: the tart dough wouldn’t roll out, I kept reclumping it, and by the time it was done it was like a brick. That tart was my master.

But it was not so with the tart you see above: the tart you see above was formed and shaped by the new me, the dominant me, the aggressive alpha dog me. Tart tasters all agreed: “this tart is flaky!” “This dough is perfect!” How did I whip that poochy dough into shape? I attacked it with confidence, with vigor, with great assurance. I am–dun dun dun dun!–The Tart Whisperer.

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This Coconut Spice Cake Doesn’t Taste Much Like Coconut But I Suppose, In The End, It Tastes Pretty Good

In the Caribbean issue of “Bon Apetit” is a recipe for Coconut Spice Cake. I’m sure it’ll appear soon (if it hasn’t appeared already) on epicurious.com (which, by the way, has a blog that links to me!) I love Epicurious, I enjoy Bon Apetit quite a bit but this recipe is just all right with me. Like Jesus in that song. Here’s what it looks like before it bakes:

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And here’s what it looks like after:

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Hey, do you like the way that 2nd picture looks? I edited it with the new iPhoto instead of Photoshop and took “sharpening” to the highest level. I think it looks cool.

Anyway, this tastes like pumpkin bread without the pumpkin with coconut sprinkled on top. If that appeals to you, please make it with my blessing.

The Oscar Post: Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, Saveur Magazine’s Apple Cobbler (with vanilla ice cream, of course) and Dazzling New YouTube Technology

The day after the Oscars the questions were pretty standard: “What did you think of Jon Stewart?” “Were you disappointed Brokeback didn’t win?” “What did you think of Charlize’s dress?” Sadly, no one asked the one question I wanted to answer: “What did you have for dinner?”

The dinner, you see, was the best part of the whole night! Observe:

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

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Apple Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

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You’ve got nothing on me, Wolfgang Puck! Well: you have a restaurant fortune and a QVC Empire, but do you have my joie de vivre? Just count my exclamation marks and I’ll put you to shame!!!

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If Food = Love, This Cake = Hot Sex (Flourless Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day)

I’ve been reading a book on food and sex in anticipation of an interview I get to do with the author next week for another website [more on that soon!] and thusly food and sex have been on my mind. Specifically, how the pleasures we enjoy in the bedroom are not so different from the pleasures we enjoy in the kitchen or the dining room. (Fork condoms anyone?) Though many people don’t like to admit it, food is love. It’s the first connection with have with another human being (mother’s breast) and our need for that connection lasts our entire life. Which is why God invented chocolate.

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This is the cake I brought to school today as the adult equivalent of the glittery homemade cards we used to put in each other’s 4th grade mailboxes. Of course, there was never any card in MY 4th grade mailbox which is why I turned to cooking. If no one loves me enough to give me a card and food equals love then I’ll cook for myself! [Paging Dr. Freud.)

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