Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Blossoms.
Inside: OH MY GOD. IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.
Outside: "Sure! I bet that will be almost as fun as the visual field test!"
Fortunately, I don't need reading glasses. I'm only nearsighted, not farsighted. A metaphor if there ever was one. Still, it's depressing to think: "I'm more than mid-way in a lifetime quest of self-improvement and THIS is where I'm at?"
naked, headless statue of Apollo in a museum). But as good a beginning as any to cite was when I was nineteen and working as a camp counselor at an academic camp in upstate New York. The experience was dreadful, partially because I was responsible for enforcing the arcane laws of the camp, which insisted that every camper had to sit down to breakfast, have lights out at an ungodly, early hour in the summertime, and had to make sure the little darlings didn't miss Evening Activities, no matter how miserable and overstimulated they were. In short, I had to be the mean mom that I never wanted to be--and it was my job. I was bumbling and incompetent at my task, and tended to sway between hesitant, wimpy permissiveness when no one was watching, and hysterical shrewishness when I was being observed.
However, there was another counselor my age, whippet-thin, cool and icy, who took a ironic disdain for the rules. Her campers were always perfectly behaved, but she seemed to lead them with a kind of ironic bravado, as if she knew how ridiculous it was that you weren't allowed to grab a muffin but had to do 'morning check in.'
She was nice to me, but I remember in particular one night standing there, when all of the other counselors were talking, and I watched her playing basketball and holding her own with a group of male counselors, just like she was able to 'play' with the temperaments of her campers and our bosses and always win. And beating them on the court and at life, and making them like her for it, as well.
I felt (and was) physically as well as mentally flabby. Ever since then I've tried to get 'better' at so many things, and while there are many dreadful aspects about being in your 20s, at least you know, theoretically that you are on an upward trajectory, even if your path to greatness is more up a molehill than Everest.
Depressingly, I am still the nineteen-year-old inside wishing that I was the girl who could play basketball with the cute boys and beat them. Only just with lots of more mileage on my eyes, and on all of the other bits and pieces.
After that experience at the eye doctor, I decided I needed a sure-fire winner of a recipe. Two of my favorite bloggers and peanut butter lovers, Anna of Cookie Madness, and Adam of The Baker's Nuts, had made these peanut butter oatmeal cookies and called them near-perfect. The cookies are unusual because they are dairy-free, unlike most (non-vegan, anyway) oatmeal cookies. Adam made some changes to the original, and got a much higher yield of cookies. I used Anna's version, with only a few small alterations, and got exactly 36.
I decided to 'blossom' some of the cookies or decorate them with a flower of salted peanuts, rather than using cranberries and walnuts.
--yields 36 cookies--
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large, beaten eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups quick rolled oats
36 Hershey's Kisses OR salted peanuts (for decorating)
1. Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix oil, peanut butter, and eggs together in a bowl.
3. Sift sugars, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, flour, and oats together. Incorporate 'dry' mixture into the wet.
4. Scoop in rounded tablespoons onto the parchment sheets. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. While still cooling press an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss onto the surface of each cookie, or decorate with salted peanuts.