Monday, May 17, 2010


We're going to do a little nostalgic thinking today, all the way back to the year 1996. What were you wearing/doing way back then? I remember sporting the unfortunate combination of glasses and braces, ginormous sweatshirts over leggings, and a perm (?) (if memory serves me right). I was head-over-heels in love with the US women's gymnastic team (I know you remember them too). Like every other 10 year old, pizza was my favoritest food EVER.

(This version from last week: Deb's dough, hot + mild sausage, prosciutto, green garlic, red onion, mushrooms, burrata and fresh mozzarella, basil. Note: burrata is way too watery to use for pizza. Note #2: chances are, I would not have liked this pizza in 1996. My pizza of choice was just like every other 5th grader: pepperoni surrounded by gobs and gobs of cheese. Non-watery cheese, may I add. Note #3: I need to get over my fear of baking with yeast.)

It was also around this time that e-mail and the world wide web came to the common folk in the form of AOL...loved that. And while we're in la-la land circa 1996, remember that ubiquitous e-mail forward that viciously circled around in the form of revenge on Neiman-Marcus for their $250 cookie recipe trickery? Turns out the story is false (an untrue forward?! Is this even possible?), but 14 years ago it felt good to stick it to the Neiman-Marcus man and send that darn outrage of a story to every single person I knew. 14 years later, it feels so good to taste what all the fuss was about.

I am not going so far as to say that these cookies are worth the purported $250, but goodness. Look at these guys. I'm usually pretty ambivalent about nuts in cookies, but the walnuts here round out the texture and make them soooooo great. Also, the copious amount of oatmeal used means you can kind of trick yourself into thinking that these are healthy for you... hello, whole grains! My zeal for whole grains must have been why I thought I should make eleventy-hundred cookies. Seriously, this recipe makes eleventy-hundred cookies (which is why I have a ton of cookie dough in the freezer. PS to my socal road trip buddies in 2 weeks: you better believe these cookies are coming for you.)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (aka the Neiman-Marcus cookies)
(I don't know to whom I should attribute this recipe, but I will give credit to Caroline's post for getting my butt in the kitchen)

5 cups oatmeal
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups chocolate chips (I used a lot less)
3 cups nuts (I used walnuts), chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a food processor or blender, blend the oatmeal until powdery. In a separate bowl, whisk the pulverized oatmeal with the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla; blend well. Gradually stir in the flour mixture; listen to your stand mixer scream bloody murder due to the enormous amount of dough you are forcing it to mix. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (I like chopping them in the food processor right after the oatmeal) (the recipe also says to grate an 8 oz. bar of chocolate into the dough at this point, but Mr. Stand Mixer screamed, "Enough is enough!", so I gave him a reprieve. (He's very temperamental.)

Roll into balls, place on cookie sheets, bake for 8-15 minutes (depending on how big you make them). Just check--when the tops start to turn golden, they're done. Let cool on the sheet for a minute before digging in!

And for freezing the dough: roll into balls, freeze on a plate or other large flat surface until really cold, then transfer to Ziploc bag (this process ensures the dough balls won't stick to each other when you're dying for freshly baked cookies in the near future).

I'll be in Chicago next weekend (my former co-love is cooking partner Lisa is getting hitched!), so my girl Jena will be guest blogging! Hooray! She's pretty much amazing, so get excited!!

1 comment:

  1. I too was pretty obsessed with the Magnificent Seven. I even saw 6 of them on a gymnastics tour, pure joy to a 10 year old.

    ps will there be cookies to the socal friend who isn't going on the road trip, but who is going to try to visit?


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