I loved stories like The Wind in the Willows about itty bitty animals living in teeny-weeny places, 'making do' with whatever they could scavenge. I was fascinated with books about children who ran away from terrible circumstances, and lived alone in boxcars or even in museums. Some survived on hot dogs roasted over a fire and the berries they picked. From reading those types of prepubescent survival manuals, I learned that if you had to live on the pocket change you found on the ground, you should always get ice cream, because it has milk in it, and eat candy bars with nuts for protein.
Some things that seem cool as a child--using flashlights during a power outage, sleeping in a sleeping bag in someone else's room, and eating leftover cold pizza and Girl Scout cookies for dinner on the floor--begin to lose their charm as an adult.
As an adult, the idea of 'scraping by' and 'making do' seems vastly less appealing. I've matured into the type of person who tends not to get the new repairs for the house when she can't afford precisely what she wants, who doesn't buy new clothes if she can't find the perfect outfit. And while I have stayed in youth hostels during all of the trips I have made as an adult abroad, finding a room with my own bathroom was a must.
These oatmeal cookies are in the spirit of my 'old self'--making do with what I had on hand. I was going to make oatmeal raisin cookies, but I had neither butter nor raisins. So I Googled 'oatmeal raisin cookies with oil' and cobbled together this concoction. I was actually surprised at how well they turned out and the good reviews they received. Not only do they have no butter, but they also have very little flour. This gives the cookies the texture of chewy granola bars. The kind of granola bars that your mother packed in your lunchbox as a kid, not the sort you find at health food stores. Just the perfect cookie to make when you want to go camping in your backyard, or run away around the block with your plastic doctor's bag stuffed with Girl Scout cookies, granola bars, a Fisher Price flashlight and crayons.
--makes 24 cookies, adapted from All Recipes--
1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil (canola or vegetable)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large, beaten egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Incorporate 'dry' mixture into 'wet' mixture. Then fold in oats, followed by the chocolate chips.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cookies will still be slightly underdone when removed from the oven.