For years now, I’ve maintained several beliefs to which I devote myself wholeheartedly:
1) My cat possesses healing qualities. His snuggles are therapeutic.
2) Completing craft projects is a reasonable and productive alternative to studying.
3) One should always have all the ingredients on hand to make simple, buttery cookies.
The last one is particularly important. It’s the reason I buy butter on basically every grocery shopping trip. What if I run out right before a cookie dough craving? What if Paula Deen buys all the butter on the Eastern Seaboard? What if cows go on strike?
Yesterday, my belief gained affirmation in the form of a snow storm. In early December. In North Carolina. Maybe “storm” is too generous, but once I saw that dismal fluffy stuff assaulting the lawn outside of our apartment, I knew I was having a snow day. As in a no-way-am-I-going-out-in-that-stuff day.
Fortunately, I had all the ingredients I needed to make jumble cookies–just what I wanted on a cold day. (I also had all the ingredients I needed to make veggie lasagna, but that’s for another day.)
Truly one of the best things you can do in winter is bake something with a lot of spices. The smell is more pervasive than a Yankee Candle, and the result definitely tastes better.
I used this recipe as my base, then found inspiration in my taste buds’ reminiscences of Whole Foods’ jumble cookie. They throw all kinds of fun edibles in those buttery delights.
Jumble Cookies, or Oatmeal Raisin/Cranberry/Cherry/Chocolate Chip Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and white sugar for several minutes. Add the eggs one by one, then add the vanilla and almond extracts.
2) Slowly stir in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.
3) Pour in the oats, raisins, cranberries or cherries, chocolate chips and walnuts. You’ll want to taste-test the dough repeatedly to verify appropriate raisin/cranberry/cherry/chocolate chip/walnut dispersion.
4) Drop teaspoon-sized rounds of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Let set for another few minutes on the baking sheet before removing. Or eat them straight out of the oven. I won’t judge.